Actor Sharad Kelkar, who was the captain of Mumbai Aces which won Actors Cricket Bash, talks about what made them win, how they stood apart and what he expects in the future.
How do u feel on winning the first season of ACB?
I am ecstatic! from 5-6 actors playing to now 100 players playing on the ground. And we were thinking about the same that we should do something like that. And, you know, for me the best part was the team, winning and losing comes much later. I had a team which was honest about the game. they were so selfless, so victory for me is that I got a bunch of actors, a bunch of friends and a bunch of brothers. Everybody gave 100% and according to me, that is a victory!
What contributed the most in the teams winning?
The unity between the actors, I think since the day the teams were divided and I got a bunch of actors, we were all united. And these guys, I tell you, none of the other guys worked so hard. They used to finish their work and come for the practice, they worked on their game and they worked on their game and they stuck together. They synced with each other. I don’t mean to say that other teams lacked this factor, but our team had that unity and mindset and that is what made us win. the selfless dedication showed by the team was a huge contribution to the team’s winning.
Who were your favourite players and why?
All of them, I can’t choose one single person because everybody played their part well and everyone gave 100% nobody was complaining. Everyone stuck to the game plan, and that’s how we played.
Any controversies you experienced in this season?
No, this format is not for controversies. this is not a controversial tournament it is real cricket.
How would you sum up the whole experience?
It was amazing, there were 100 actors on the ground. And we were playing real cricket. It is not that we changed the equipment of the players on the ground. It was actual cricket on the actual ground. So it was tough competition on the ground and that was the best part. The 4 days when we play cricket together, I think they were an amazing experience for everyone. And I would say it is part of my growth, getting 15-16 actors together. And everyone has their own busy schedule. So, for me, that was a great task. And I learned a lot from it. I became a better human being, a person who belongs to a team and has a huge responsibility. I saw people who had high determination, selfless actually taught me a lot.
What is the best part of a tournament like ACB for you? Also, is there any part of the league that you would like to change?
I think Dilip Aggarwal has organized this whole tournament brilliantly, He asked everyone about the dates and the timings so that everyone can come to play. Everyone has their own work commitment, their own choices, own personalities. To handle everyone is difficult and he single-handedly managed ACB. Maybe next year we will go to a bigger stadium and play. And I want to see ACB growing year by year. After seeing the first season, which is a massive success, it will be way bigger next time
What makes ACB stand out according to you?
Normally, people think that actors are only there to act and they are not serious about any other thing. But the best part is all our actors are players. If you see us in this tournament, it was outstanding. I have been a part of many leagues but this is far better. And I have seen extraordinary potential in all the actors. And all of them are amazing, it is not like only 4 players in a team are good players. That was the best part, people might think that how can these people play cricket? But if you see Savant’s injury, I think we all want to dedicate this trophy to him. Despite, falling and getting 3 fractures, he was standing. We also saw his picture on Instagram holding the man of the match trophy whereas, the doctor told him that he cannot eat for a month. And we as individual dedicate this victory to Savant.
What do you have to say about Dilip Agrawal who has started this amazing league ACB?
I always said, I think on this day only, way back in 2006-07, Dilip, Salil Ankola, Shabbir and I met at a restaurant because we did a charity match before that. And we were talking about actors playing good cricket. We were like let’s form a team. And that is how ‘Boxxy Boys’ was formed. Then in these thirteen years, I have seen the dedication of the young actors. In the start, we had only 10-11 players and now we have 80-90 players. And very selflessly they have given themselves to the team. And when the number increased, we thought of doing a tournament but there were many hurdles like sponsors etc. But Dilip was behind it. He did this alone because we all got busy with our shooting, he alone is the flag bearer. Finally, he did it! And it is commendable!