'S for Sreesanth and 36 my luckiest jersey number'
One of S Sreesanth's most famous moments on the cricket ground was the impromptu dance he performed at the crease after hitting South Africa pacer Andre Nel for a six in Johannesburg nearly four years ago.
While the Kerala speedster was fined for the mid-pitch gig, it didn't stop him from taking up music alongside his cricketing career.
Sreesanth, 27, recently launched a band, called S-36, with his a few of his family members and friends.
"The concept behind the name 'S36 - The Band' is clear -- S represents Sreesanth and 36 my luckiest jersey number," the pacer told rediff.com.
"The jersey No 36 won us the Twenty20 World Cup!" said Sreesanth, who took the catch to dismiss Pakistan's Misbah-ul Haq and give India the Twenty20 title in 2007.
Image: S Sreesanth
S-36 took two years of hard work
Also involved in the band, formed two years back, are a group of highly talented artists. It involves Sreesanth's brother Dipu Santhan, his brother-in-law Madhu Balakrishnan, an acclaimed playback singer in South India, and his childhood friend Deepak Warrier, who will compose the music.
The band also features Kamran Ahmed, who sang the hit number Lambi Judaai in the Emran Hashmi-starrer Jannat, and other talented singers like Harib, Deepak Das, Niran and Narayan Unni.
"Two years back, me, along with my brother-in-law Madhu Balakrishnan and childhood friend and musician Deepak Warrier joined hands to create our first musical piece Jaago India. This was only a start.
"An idea to form a music band was sowed right then. But it took two years of hard-work and preparations to finally come up with a genuinely talented group of artists. I, along with my elder brother [Dipu] and close friend Deepak, worked out a concept for the band, which involves music, dance and fashion, making it a complete entertainer," he said.
Image: The S-36 band members
'Cricket is my life'
Sreesanth has struggled with injuries and his attitude in the last few years, which saw him lose his place in the Indian squad. But the speedster showed great resolve to turnaround his career by working hard in the nets and improving his on-field behaviour and expectedly made his way back into the Test squad.
And he reveals that music helped him get his career back on track, though cricket will always be first priority.
"Cricket is my life. It is my passion, and my love. It always takes the first place in my priority list," he declared.
Image: S Sreesanth
'I have polished up my drumming skills'
Sreesanth revealed that it was during in his spare time and the off-season that he drifted towards music.
"Every individual has a space, where he engages in creative activities. Be it an IT professional, bank official, businessman, politicians, whoever it may be, there is always a personal space beyond professional life where they enjoy doing something creative. Similarly, for me, this is a source of creative showcase during my free time. But you will never see me compromising cricket for anything."
Quizzed what role he plays in S-36, Sreesanth replied: "When I travel with the band, you can expect me to be an integral part of the show. I have polished up my drumming skills, have done some rap designing and most prominently will be performing with the dance group.
"Later in the show I will also walk the ramp for the designer who is featured in the show. But I do have issues relating to my availability. I spend time with the band only when I am not playing cricket. The band will still perform without me and continue to rock the audience."
Incidentally, Sreesanth also owns a restaurant by the same name 'S-36' back home in Kochi.
Image: S Sreesanth
Can Sreesanth rock the Kiwis with the ball?
Deepak, the music composer, said their first album in Hindi is released online and will soon be available in stores throughout the country.
"The CDs will be available in the market from the first week of November. The songs played will include original numbers from the album and a few other original compositions. The band will perform our version of Indian rock hits and contemporary Sufi and hit numbers from films. You can even see some evergreen songs being rendered in a different way. The S36 Way!"
Deepak also revealed another secret the band is working on: composing music for a Bollywood movie.
"The latest exciting news is that we are doing music for a Bollywood film. It is more like an official sound track (OST). The music video will feature our band along with the star cast. This will be the first time a band will be doing the music. The band will also perform in key cities to promote the film. This will happen soon," he said.
S-36 is planning to launch their band in Dubai, but music lovers in India will get a sneak peek of their talents with a series of curtain raisers in a few cities.
"The band is doing a series of curtain raiser shows in India before the Dubai launch. The first show will be at my home town Cochin, followed by cities like Bangalore, my second home, Chennai, Mumbai, Calcutta, Delhi and Mysore. It will be like an India tour," Sreesanth said.
But, for now, the pacer's main focus is the three-Test series against New Zealand. Can he rock the Kiwis with the ball?