Jiiva goes to Bollywood

Jiiva has been practicing cricket under the guidance of former Indian Test cricketer Balwinder Singh Sandhu.

Jiiva, who has a couple of interesting projects in the pipeline including Gypsy, Gorilla and an untitled film with Arulnithi, will essay the role of cricketer Krishnamachari Srikkanth in 83, directed by Kabir Khan. The film is based on India’s spectacular victory in the 1983 Cricket World Cup that took place in England. While Ranveer Singh will be seen as Kapil Dev, speculations are rife that Deepika Padukone might play his wife, Romy. However, official confirmation is awaited.

According to sources, Jiiva had signed 83 last year in October. A source says, “Kabir Khan was particular that he wanted to rope in a Tamil actor for Srikkanth’s role. When the makers approached Jiiva for the same, he instantly agreed to come on board.”

Jiiva has, apparently, been practicing cricket for two hours every day under the guidance of former Indian Test cricketer Balwinder Singh Sandhu.

The actor tells us, “I am used to acting in multi-starrers and I feel honoured to be a part of this film. Sports dramas, like MS Dhoni: The Untold Story, are a hit among the Indian audience. For someone who is interested in cricket, this is a once-in-a-lifetime-opportunity. I have also won a lot of cricket matches. Post Sangili Bungili Kadhava Thorae, I was listening to scripts, and 83 appealed to me. So, I didn’t want to miss this offer. I am sure this is going to be an exciting journey. I will be joining the sets in May, and my portions will be shot in London for about three months.”

The casting of the other cricket players is underway, and we hear Nawazuddin Siddiqui is likely to play the coach of team India. Touted to be made at a budget of Rs 100 crore, 83 is produced by Phantom Films, Vishnu Vardhan Induri of Vibri Media, Reliance Entertainment and Kabir Khan Films.