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LOOKING BACK AT ’83: Balwinder Sandhu, a hero then and a guiding force now

New Delhi : As a member of the 1983 cricket World Cup-winning team, Balwinder Singh Sandhu’s role in earning the historic victory is part of cricketing folklore. And, now Sandhu has also made a significant contribution in the making of the movie, ’83, which is based on the events that led to Kapil’s Devils lifting the glittering trophy at Lord’s.Opening up about his association with the director of the movie, Kabir Khan, Sandhu told IANS in an exclusive interview that all the characters depicted in the film had put in their heart and soul to ensure they genuinely portrayed themselves as the heroes of the historic triumph.Sandhu said that he had trained Bollywood actors such as Ranveer Singh (Kapil Dev), Hardy Sandhu (Madan Lal), Nishant Dahiya (Roger Binny), Dinker Sharma (Kirti Azad) and Ammy Virk (Balwinder Sandhu) to make them thoroughly aware of the characters they were playing.”They came to me to know more about each member of the 1983 cricket team. All are accomplished actors, but when a film is based on true events and the characters are real, it is very difficult for anyone to get the exact body language and nuances of the real characters,” Sandhu told IANS.”I am happy that these actors have worked really hard to know and understand the characters they played in the movie. When you see the film, you will acknowledge their hard work,” said Sandhu.

A right-arm medium-pace bowler, Sandhu singled out his two team-mates Madan Lal and Mohinder Amarnath who were instrumental in the team winning the title.”Madan Lal and Mohinder Amarnath have a very unique style of bowling. In the film, Hardy Sandhu (Madan Lal) and Saqib Saleem who is playing Mohinder’s role, have done a very good job of emulating these two cricketers. They look so real that it’s difficult to differentiate (between the real and reel heroes),” he told IANS.Before the release of the trailer of the movie, Ranveer Singh had unveiled the poster of Amrinder ‘Ammy’ Virk (Balwinder Sandhu) and hailed him as ‘Dil Da Raja Amrinder’. He had even joked how Sandhu and Virk are ‘real characters’ on and off the screen.Asked about his reel character Virk, Sandhu lavished praise on the 29-year-old, saying his skills are amazing. “Ammy Virk is an established actor. He knows how to get into a character easily… he is really good at it,” he said.Sandhu, who is remembered for delivering the devastating in-swinger in the final match that sent West Indian batsman Gordon Greenidge back to the pavilion said, “The film is based on real incidents. But (the director) has taken some liberty, which is natural (in order) to make it (movie) more interesting.”Sandhu refused to reveal any more details about the movie.”The trailer has been released. The film is about to be released and if you want to know more, you will have to see the film. I can’t say much,” he told IANS.The movie will be released in Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam on December 24.


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