Cricketer S Sreesanth’s dreams of becoming a silver-screen sensation have been snapped. Scenes featuring Sreesanth in a small role in the much-awaited movie Mazhavillinattam Vare (Till the End of the Rainbow) would be deleted by wellknown lyricist and director of the film, Kaithapram Damodaran Namboothiri.
In the wake of the alleged match-fixing scandal, the tainted bowler is invoking the anger of people from all quarters in his home state Kerala and sponsors and fans across the country. Going by the worsening public perception against Sreesanth, Namboothiri doesn’t want to take a chance.
The film, the directorial debut of Namboothiri scheduled for Onam release tells the story of love beyond boundaries, the relation of a cricketer from Pakistan and a girl from India. Namboothiri, aware of the negative impact Sreesanth’s deteriorating image would have on his project, took the decision in order to avoid the ire of film buffs and cricket fans. The director said, “I do not have anything personal against Sreesanth. But the public perception against the cricketer is worsening. So I would be forced to delete the scenes involving Sreesanth in the film.” A disgraced cricketer now, Sreesanth’s royal days are coming to an end.
Namboothiri added, “Despite his busy schedule, Sreesanth was happy to be in the film. He was portrayed as a star visiting the camp run by former cricketer Syed Kirmani.” Namboothiri hinted that Sreesanth would be excluded from the film as he has become a bad apple to the Kerala government and is mired in controversies. On social media, cricket fans are talking about dumping shirts that have Sreesanth’s name and jersey number 36 printed on them. Namboothiri had no option but to disassociate his venture from Sreesanth. “The state government has dropped him in from ads. We don’t want to get involved in controversies,” said he.
The film has other cricketers including former Indian Wicket Keeper Syed Kirmani and former all-rounder Robin Singh in the cast. It revolves around cricket and stars Archana Kavi and UK-based singer Abbas Hassan. Sreesanth was playing himself in a few scenes.
The film project saw two replacements as Mohammed Asif, the Pakistani bowler who was originally cast as the protagonist was replaced when found involved in a match-fixing scandal. His replacement, Pakistani batsman Mohammed Hafeez was dropped due to his busy cricket schedules. Kaithapram added, “Sreesanth was nice and gentle. He didn’t even look at the cover which contained his remuneration. I had given a quite good amount for his shoot. He returned the cover to me saying he was not big enough to take the money and left the location after touching my feet.”
Sreesanth’s gestures on the film sets don’t match with his behaviour on the field. The effect of his arrest saw its first off-field fallout when the Delhi-based Kent R-O Systems, the company that sells water purifiers withdrew its ad campaign featuring him. “We have taken down the ads with immediate effect since they feature Sreesanth in them. For now, we are just taking off air the ads with players whose names have come up,” Mahesh Gupta, chairman and managing director, Kent R-O Systems told newspapers.
In his home state, Sreesanth was removed from the advertisements for Kerala Lottery, a state-run lottery. Apparently, the instructions came from state minister for finance, KM Mani. Police are probing if Sreesanth had invested in movies. According to sources, Sreesanth revealed during the investigations that he had wanted to act in movies. For now, the match-fixing blot has reduced the hero’s career and aspirations to a big zero.