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Did you know that cricket legends starred in these Bollywood movies

by Joe Bourn

New Delhi: Former Indian cricketer Salim Durrani died on Sunday at the age of 88. The Kabul-born cricketer was famous for his orthodox slow left-arm skill and his ability to bat as a batsman. In 29 Tests, he picked 75 wickets including three five-wicket hauls. He lived with his younger brother, Jahangir Durrani, in Jamnagar, Gujarat.

Durrani was one of the first Indian cricketers to endorse products and was popular with the general public thanks to his captivating charm and good looks. This soon included movie deals. He made his film debut in 1969 with ‘Ek Masoom’, playing the opposite of Tanuja. The Khalid Akhtar film also starred Helen, Prem Chopra, Jagdeep and Abhi Bhattacharya. He made one more appearance on the big screen in 1973, just as his international cricket career was coming to an end. In the movie ‘Charitra’ she was seen opposite Parveen Babi.

Salim Durani’s aggressive style and left-arm spin bowling helped India to a number of victories. He was key to India’s maiden win in the West Indies in 1971 when Durrani bowled a remarkable spell that included the quick dismissals of players like Clive Lloyd and Gary Sobers. India went on to beat Spain by seven wickets in the Port of Spain Test and Durani allowed just 21 runs in 17 overs of bowling.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi also took to Twitter and posted a heartfelt tribute to the former Indian cricketer.

“Salim Durani Ji was a cricketing legend, an institution in his own right. He was instrumental in India’s rise in the world of cricket. On and off the field, he was known for his style. His loss is painful. Condolences to his family and friends may his soul rest in peace,” the honorable prime minister wrote.

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