Kai Po Che's Ali — a real-life cricket aspirant too
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Apart from three lead actors who are being praised for their remarkable performance in the film Kai Po Che, the latest blockbuster, there is one more actor who has impressed the audience. Kai Po Che's Ali, the young boy who played smashing shots, hitting massive sixes and fours, is 14-year-old Digvijay Deshmukh, a budding cricketer from Pune.
"Last year, we had sent him to Mumbai for a cricket camp. While he was busy practicing at the MIG Club in Bandra, some people from the Kai Po Che team arrived with recording equipment. Around six to seven boys, including Digvijay, were asked to bat and the movie team recorded their shots. Later, I got a call from one of their representatives that they want to cast my son in their upcoming film," recalls Digvijay's proud father Rajkumar Deshmukh, who works as a sports director at a college in Baramati.
However, the family was in a big dilemma, given the fact that just three years ago in 2010, Digvijay, his mother and elder sister had shifted to Pune primarily because the city offered better infrastructure for Digvijay's only aspiration - cricket.
"When he was in Class VI, he used to play cricket with the Class IX and Class X kids. Sometimes he batted even better than the older boys too. The whole family's full focus is on his game. The film, we thought, will take him away from his passion," says Deshmukh.
However, when the family was told that Digvijay's character has lots to do with cricket and that the shooting will take place during school holidays, they agreed.
Digvijay, now a Class IX student of Kataria High School, shot for the film in April-May 2012 in Gujarat and Rajasthan. He is yet to get adjusted to the fame and attention that he is being showered with. "From the time, the film was released, people have started noticing me in school. Even on the streets, they give me a second look. However, no one has asked for my autograph as such," says young Digvijay, who has been taking training lessons in cricket from the time he was in Class VI.