Bowled by a Maiden – Cricket and Bollywood’s Diamond Tales

When the box office charms the pavilion

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Cricketer and Bollywood Celebs Diamond Tales
Image credits: Virat Kohli and Anushka Sharma: Instagram @virat.kohli, KL Rahul & Athiya Shetty: Instagram @klrahul and @athiyashetty, Hardik Pandya & Natasa Stankovic: Instagram @hardikpandya93

Everybody loves a lover. And when the paramours are India’s sweethearts from the worlds of cricket and Bollywood, everyone gushes over their fairytale romance. As champ KL Rahul was bowled over by the lissom lady Athiya Shetty and gave us the latest nuptial nexus between Bollywood and Cricket, here’s a look at other similar matches made in Heaven. From the regal Pataudis’ rare story of togetherness to the sparkle of power couple Virat Kohli and Anushka Sharma and Zaheer Khan’s surprise proposal to Sagarika Ghatge, each tale is unique and symbolises love, purity of emotions and a long-lasting bond. Just like natural diamonds.

KL Rahul and Athiya Shetty

The youngest diamonds
‘In your light, I learn how to love….’ These ethereal words announced the dreamlike wedlock between the vice-captain of the test cricket team and the Mubarakan actress on 23 January 2023.

Introduced by mutual friends, reportedly, in 2019, Rahul and Athiya made their relationship Instagram official in November 2021 on the latter’s birthday. Photos of their courtship have made them one of the most-adored couples today. Their relationship culminated in an intimate wedding ceremony at Athiya’s actor-father Suniel Shetty’s Khandala bungalow, Jahaan.

Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi and Sharmila Tagore

Tenacious and endless diamond love
The couple epitomises the two things natural diamonds symbolise — love and royalty. After all, the groom was the Prince of Pataudi and the Indian team’s youngest captain, Mansoor Ali Khan; the bride was from the erudite Tagore family and a promising film star, Sharmila Tagore. It’s not just the blue-blood lineage and stardom but also the hardy commitment and permanence of love that makes theirs a fascinating and rare story.

The duo met in 1965 at the peak of their careers, and the charming royal wooed the dimpled beauty, and after that, they started dating. A proposal in the city of romance, Paris, a courtship fraught with apprehensiveness from family and society, a royal wedding in 1969, and a lifetime of love, mutual respect and commitment make their togetherness the epitome of elegance and eternalness.

Virat Kohli and Anushka Sharma

Blinding brilliance and power: A diamond love story
Anushka Sharma oozed confidence, making even the mighty Virat Kohli nervous when they first met to shoot for a shampoo commercial. The former frontman of the men in blue cracked a joke that broke the ice. They made Italy’s Tuscany fashionable as a destination wedding venue in December 2017.

While their wedding’s resplendence is still fresh in fans’ memories, the “it” couple Virushka, now parents to their daughter Vamika, still shine and stand out every time they make an appearance together, offline or online.

Zaheer Khan and Sagarika Ghatge

Love and diamonds know no religion
Sparks flew for the fast-medium and left-arm bowler and the Chak De! India star when they met for the first time; the two became good friends soon. Their relationship was under wraps initially, but just like the gem’s luminosity cannot stay concealed, they grabbed attention as a couple when they attended Yuvraj Singh and Hazel Keech’s wedding together. As Sagarika flaunted her natural diamond ring amid IPL 2017, confirming the news, every onlooker was bedazzled with their liaison.

Their love story entailed a surprise proposal in Goa when Zaheer popped the question. They belong to different faiths, but that didn’t stop them from getting hitched, and they opted for a court wedding followed by a wedding reception for family and close friends.

Harbhajan Singh and Geeta Basra

Trust and loyalty: A sparkling diamond bond
The British Bollywood actress cast such a spell on Turbanator Singh when he first laid eyes on the video for her song ‘Woh Ajnabee’ from The Train that he asked around for her number and reached out to her to meet.

Their relationship began as friends, and after almost nine years of dating, they were married. Geeta was initially sceptical of dating him since cricketers had a reputation of being flamboyant and ladies’ men. But their marriage is built on trust and loyalty, as Geeta has been a pillar of support during all his controversies and match bans. They are still going strong, with a daughter Hinaya and a son Jovan completing their team.

Hardik Pandya and Natasa Stankovic

Diamond-studded white wedding on Valentine’s Day
The natural diamond can have an overpowering hold on the beholder. The Serbian Bollywood model, dancer and actress Natasa Stankovic, too, stunned the style maven cricketer when he saw her for the first time at a nightclub in Mumbai, India.

They first became best friends, and the whirlwind romance was solidified with an engagement on a speedboat in Dubai, as Bollywood songs played in the background. Married since May 2020, the duo’s redux wedding vows on Valentine’s Day 2023 were a dreamy, ivory affair at the royal palace of Udaipur.

Yuvraj Singh and Hazel Keech

Solidarity and eternity: A shining love tale
It took four years for the Brit Mauritian actress, dancer, and model to get attracted to the southpaw, and Harbhajan Singh believably had a big role to play in the two getting together. They met at a common friend’s party, and Yuvraj proposed to his ladylove at a romantic surprise dinner in Bali.

After getting engaged in 2015 and tying the knot in Sikh and Hindu ceremonies in 2016, they now have a baby boy. Hazel (named Gurbasant Kaur post-wedding) and Yuvi’s love is a mark of solidarity just like a natural diamond as they together withstood the biggest challenge when the cricketer battled cancer.

These Bollywood beauties prove it’s not just the glitz that swept the heroes off their feet but the enduring nature and durability of pure love that keeps them going despite the pressures of among the most exacting professions. But then, that’s what makes it all the more precious.