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From cricketing to dancing: Krishnamachari Srikkanth

Last updated on: June 4, 2013 12:41 IST

From cricketing to dancing: Krishnamachari Srikkanth

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Rajul Hegde in Mumbai

His moves on the cricket field are well known, but now former India skipper Krishnamachari Srikkanth will show off his dancing skills in the sixth season of Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa.

He is expected to make his appearance this weekend.

Srikkanth will feature on the dance show alongside 12 other contestants including model-actor Aarti Chhabria, Lauren Gottlieb,  Shweta Tiwari, Karanvir Bohra, Meghna Malik, Siddharth Shukla, Ekta Kaul, Dhrasti Dhami, singer Shaan and comedian Suresh Menon.

Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa and sports are closely connected.

Cricketers Ajay Jadeja, Mohinder Amarnath and Sri Lankan skipper Sanath Jayasuriya have grooved on earlier editions of the show. Footballer Baichung Bhutia (who won the third season) and boxer Akhil Kumar have also cavorted before the cameras.  

In this exclusive interview with Rajul Hegde, Kris Srikkanth talks about his dancing abilities, cricket's latest scandal, and what advice he will give to his cricketer son.

Why did you decide to take part in a dance reality show like Jhalak Dikhhlaa Jaa

The channel had approached me a few months ago but I declined the offer because I was not confident about dancing. 

They told me not to worry as many sportsmen and cricketers have taken part in the show before. That gave me a bit of confidence. 

My wife and her friends watch a lot of shows on Colors. After a lot of discussion with my wife Vidya I finally decided to give it a try.

 Were you aware of this show before they approached you?

Yes. It's a popular show and also when you have judges like Madhuri Dixit, Karan Johar and Remo D'Souza it has to be something big. 

Imagine me dancing in front of them! I am just waiting; I don't know what they are going to say.

Have you watched videos of cricketers who have taken part in Jhalak...?

The channel showed me videos of Baichung Bhutia and Sanath Jaisurya. I think they were too good. I don't know whether I will be able to match up to them.


Image: Krishnamachari Srikkanth
Photographs: Courtesy Colors

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'The only dancing I have done is in the field when we take a wicket, or when we have won a match'

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Have you danced before for cultural events in school or college?

Never. Dancing is something new to me. I was interested only in cricket and studies. The only dancing I have done is in the field when we take a wicket, or when we have won a match -- that is off the field and for fun. 

So I thought let me do something different. There is nothing wrong in doing new things. It's more about innovation and exploring new things.

It's a tradition in most south Indian families for children to learn dance at a very young age. 

Yes. My sister is a professional Bharat Natyam dancer and that is the only connection I have with the dance. I have seen her dance Bharat Natyam and I know how difficult it is. 

I sometimes wonder how these actors dance and sing in films. It's really great.

My wife must have already told my sister about me taking part in the show. Unfortunately, I didn't have time to meet her, so I will go back to Chennai and learn a few steps from her!

Since you have been practising dancing for the last few days, how do you rate yourself as a dancer?

I don't know. I think I should thank my choreographer Rushali and her team for giving me the confidence. 

I think they have understood my strengths and weaknesses and have changed the steps accordingly. 

Which is easier, dancing or cricket?

I am sure both are difficult, but for me cricket has been my childhood passion so I guess cricket is easier for me.

How many hours do you rehearse?

I really don't know. I think if I had practised so much in cricket, I would have been a better cricketer! (smiles)

Are you comfortable when the judges judge you?

This is like cricket selection; when you are playing, the selectors are watching and then select you. In the same way the judges are the selectors here.

I am not going to be worried about that. However much you practice, what counts is the day you perform.


Image: Krishnamachari Srikkanth
Photographs: Courtesy Colors

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'Spot fixing controversy is unfortunate and sad'

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What do you have to say about the cricket spot fixing controversy?

It's unfortunate and sad. It has not only hurt the public but also the cricketers. Barring a few, everybody else is an honest and passionate cricketer. 

I am sure all the investigations that are going on will sort out the problems. BCCI would like to clean up the mess ASAP.  At the end of the day cricket is a big religion in India.

I believe that the game of cricket is bigger than any individual or body. If you misuse the religion the religion itself will correct you. I believe in 'Satyameva Jayate' and truth will always prevail. 

I hope things will get sorted out at the earliest. Cricket will come back to normal on its own because of the corrective measures taken.

What's your advice for young cricketers?

Youngsters, play cricket with passion and honesty. The pride of playing for your country is more important.

Somewhere down the line the beauty of cricket is no more. Do you think Indians will be interested in the coming Champions Trophy?

I think initially there will be a little bit of a dent in the faith of Indian fans. As I said, these are only a few elements that are spoiling the game. 

What advice have you given your son Anirudha Srikanth (who plays for Chennai Super Kings)? 

I have told him that if you want to be a cricketer you must be committed, honest, and of course talent is very important. And if you are really good nobody can stop you from coming up.

You are part of India's two biggest victories in the World Cup, in 1983 as a player and in 2011 as selector. What are your fondest memories? 

In 1983 I was a player and we won the World Cup when nobody expected us to win. In 2011, when I was chairman of selectors, we won the World Cup again. But that time India was rated as one of the favourites. 

1983 was the greatest because we were the underdogs then. In 2011, India had a brilliant team and performed superbly. It gives me pride that I have been part of both the winning World Cups. 

Being chairman and a player of the World Cup probably is god's gift. 

Who is your favourite co-anchor when you are doing the commentary? 

Ian Chappell and Bill Lawry because I think they are honest about their comments.


Image: Krishnamachari Srikkanth
Photographs: Courtesy Colors

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