Saqib Qureshi and (right) Aftab Shivdasani at the crease during the maiden Celebrity Cricket League match hosted at Barabati Stadium on Saturday. Picture by Badrika Nath Das
Cuttack/Bhubaneswar, Feb. 8: Two events in the twin cities today saw a galaxy of celebrities. While it was a treat for Cuttack residents to watch Bollywood, Bhojpuri and Telugu film stars in two cricket matches at Barabati Stadium, in Bhubaneswar, it was a big fat Odia wedding when popular actors of the state gathered to witness Anubhav and Varsha tie the knot.
The Bollywood actors proved that they were good entertainers off the screen as well when they came out to bat, bowl and field in the maiden Celebrity Cricket League (CCL) match hosted at the Barabati stadium.
A large number of spectators had thronged the stadium for a glimpse of the popular actors, including Suneil Shetty, Venkatesh, Aftab Shivdasani, Bobby Deol, Arbaaz Khan, Sohail Khan and other film stars. Huma Qureshi was among the cheering team while brother Saqib Qureshi was on the field.
Bollywood superstar Sridevi and her producer-husband Boney Kapoor also cheered for the teams from the dugouts. The actors also did not disappoint the crowd as they kept on waving at the spectators at regular intervals. Veteran Odia star Sidhant Mahapatra, also a Lok Sabha MP, was seen supporting all teams. To let cricket fans and movie-goers enjoy the match, the tickets were priced between Rs 50 and Rs 700. “It was a dream come true for me as I got an opportunity to see a lot of Bollywood actors playing at the stadium from close quarters,” said Subhasini Rout, a student.
It was the first T20 match to be played at Barabati after an international ODI between India and Australia was washed out in October last. Nearly 20,000 spectators watched the matches between Mumbai Heroes and Bengal Tigers as well as Bhojpuri Dabaanggs and Telugu Warriors.
Around 26 platoons of police were deployed for smooth conduct of both the matches at the stadium. The match was organised with the help of the Odisha Cricket Association.
In Bhubaneswar, the road between a mall and a hotel at Kharavela Nagar had remained out of bounds for about two hours in the evening as the barajatri (members of groom’s procession) danced with joy, accompanying Anubhav to the hotel, where bride Varsha and her family were waiting for them.
The groom’s procession included many film stars such as Sabyasachi, Buddhaditya and the most popular comedian Pappu Pom Pom, who were seen shaking a leg on trendy numbers. The celebrations had begun right from Cuttack when the procession started for Bhubaneswar.
The wedding took place around 7pm. “I had to perform the double duty. As the groom’s friend I danced in his procession. Besides, Varsha is also a good friend of mine. Therefore, being a member of the bride’s camp I welcomed Anubhav’s party as they entered the hotel,” said Buddhaditya.
Reception from the groom’s family will be hosted on February 12 at JN Indoor Stadium in Cuttack. The couple, who were rumoured to be dating for the past seven years, exchanged rings on December 25 last year.