Monday, 30th October 2017

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  • Published 30.05.14

Sunrisers Hyderabad may have crashed out of the IPL, but this is a big weekend for star pacer Dale Steyn. The 30-year-old South African, who is currently the number one ranked Test bowler in the world, features in a cameo in the Adam Sandler-Drew Barrymore rom com Blended, that hits screens today. t2 caught up with the Steyn gun of world cricket...

How did you land a cameo in Blended and what was the experience like?

The experience was pretty awesome. I am actually quite an Adam Sandler fan and to be asked to feature in a film with him was quite a kick. I was in England and I got a call from this guy called Rory Steyn who happens to be Adam’s bodyguard. I know Rory very well because he has also been on the security detail of the South African team. Adam had mentioned to him that he was looking for an international cricketer to play a small part in his new movie. Rory happened to mention my name and I was on.

Do you play yourself in the film?

I pretty much play myself in terms of the personality of the role. But in the film I am not an international cricketer or Dale Steyn, for that matter. I am just a dorky kind of an average cricketer who is trying to make it big (laughs). But yes, my name in the film is Dale.

Was your time in front of the camera unnerving?

Yes it was, it was. We cricketers do face the camera for endorsements quite often, but shooting for a film is tough. I have never shot a movie before and it was quite daunting. We shot all day and it was quite a lot of stress because the camera was shooting me from all angles. They filmed me from the front, then from the back and then from the side and then from above. It was so many different angles and I really didn’t know what was happening! (Laughs) Adam and the little boy in the film… his name is Carl… were very helpful. At the end of it, I was pretty much okay (smiles).

Is Adam Sandler as fun and goofy as he comes across on screen?

Yes, he’s actually very funny. He basically plays himself in all his films… he doesn’t really need to change himself for any part. He’s pretty hilarious in real life too. Quite a fun chap.

If a film was made on you, which bits of your life and career would you want to be in it?

Probably my birth, to start off with (laughs out loud). If I was the director of a film on my life, I would make sure it’s a comedy for sure (laughs). The film should definitely include the bit where I picked up a ball for the first time… I am sure a lot of people would want to know that part because I didn’t start playing cricket very early on in life… I was probably 11 when I picked up a ball and bat for the first time. Then of course, the highlights of my career… my time with the South African team… the IPL… they all should figure in my movie.

Are you familiar with Bollywood?

No, honestly no (laughs). I am aware of Bollywood, of course. I have also met a couple of actors and actresses, but I don’t remember their names (laughs). Of course, there is Shah Rukh Khan who we all know of, courtesy the IPL.

You’ve been visiting India every year for the last few years because of the IPL. What do you like the most about India?

Everything’s different here… the sights and the smells. Everything’s so busy in India… it’s organised chaos, but in the nicest way possible. I don’t think I could ever drive a car in India… it’s crazy and I would be so scared. But I really like the people here… everyone’s so friendly and so welcoming. I think once you get out of the bubble of where you are from and embrace India, you actually start liking it here.

Do you have a favourite Eden Gardens memory? [The chat took place before the Yusuf Pathan blast on Saturday night!]

No, I don’t, actually (laughs). I really don’t know about my statistics at the Eden Gardens, but one thing that really makes me want to play there is the crowd. I played a Test match there (India vs South Africa, February 2010) where (V.V.S.) Laxman, (Virender) Sehwag and (M.S.) Dhoni all got 100s and there must have been about 90,000 people cheering them on. It was sheer madness... it’s so much fun to play in front of such a passionate crowd, no matter whether you are winning or losing.

The Sunrisers Hyderabad didn’t have a good run this IPL. What have been the biggest learnings this season?

I don’t really think we have done too badly (laughs). The table from (number) 2 to (number) 7 was separated by just two points. It was a matter of just a win or two and we could have been in the playoffs. But T20 cricket is like that, you know. It’s Kings XI Punjab and Chennai (Super Kings) that have played consistently well this season, while the rest of us have had our good and bad patches. We could have won a few more matches of course, and could have easily been in third place. Personally, I think I have done okay.

Who are your friends in the Indian cricket team and in Sunrisers Hyderabad?

I have spent a lot of time with Indian guys over the last few years. Ishant Sharma has become a close friend… we’ve played together both for Deccan (Chargers) and now Sunrisers. I also like Bhuvneshwar Kumar… Bhuvi. Virat Kohli is a friend and so also Irfan Pathan. We get along very well. When you are in opposite teams you always feel that there may be one or two dodgy guys, but because of the IPL, we’ve just got to know each other very well.

Your Twitter bio simply says: ‘Terrible guitar player’. Of all your achievements, why would you want to be known for this?

(Laughs out loud) I’ve been trying to learn how to play the guitar well for the longest possible time. Putting it in my Twitter bio is just one way of egging myself to practise more and play it better (smiles).