Bollywood's romance with sport
Sports and movies are the pillars of entertainment. One plays to win, the other entertains to rule. And when members of the two get together, it's quite a hot package.
Be it the short-lived marriage between American tennis player Andre Agassi and model-turned-actress Brooke Shields or Disney star Hillary Duff's recent fairy-tale wedding to Canadian ice hockey player Mike Comrie.
Back home, Bollywood, too, boasts of quite a few such alliances. Only a couple of days back, tennis ace Mahesh Bhupathi announced his engagement to actress Lara Dutta on a social networking website. On that note, here's a lowdown on when movie stars flirted with sports celebrities.
Yuvraj Singh and Kim Sharma/Deepika Padukone
The Chandigarh-born all-rounder enjoyed a Ross-Rachel brand of on-off relationship with Mohabbatein's Kim Sharma as they hung out in cozy circles. But after Kim realised the relationship is heading nowhere, she resolved to bow out.
Yuvraj, next, directed his sights at another Bollywood beauty, namely Deepika Padukone. Despite showing up for several matches, the Om Shanti Om star continued to stay mum, much to the dismay of Yuvi's mommy. Matters got even more curious after she was simultaneously linked to Indian skipper, M S Dhoni.
At the end of it, Ranbir Kapoor tossed a googly and walked away with the girl.
Image: Yuvraj Singh and Kim Sharma/ Deepika Padukone
Mohammed Azharuddin and Sangeeta Bijlani
Sparks flew following a photo shoot featuring Tridev girl Sangeeta Bijlani who had just broken off with long-time boyfriend Salman Khan and a smitten Azharuddin ended his marriage to previous wife Naureen to get hitched again.
Just when their marriage appeared rock-solid, rumors of yet another split have cropped their ugly head. The reason attributed being former Indian cricket captain's attachment with 27-year-old badminton player Jwala Gutta.
Image: Mohammed Azharuddin and Sangeeta Bijlani
Shahid Kapoor and Sania Mirza
High on fan sympathy after his shocking split with Kareena Kapoor, Shahid reportedly found a comforting shoulder in tennis sensation, Sania Mirza.
As expected, the two refused to acknowledge anything, maintaining a 'good friends' stance. Now, of course, Mirza is Mrs Shoaib Malik.
Interestingly, the Pakistani cricketer was rumored to be 'good friends' with a former Miss India turned actress, Sayali Bhagat, a charge later refuted by the concerned parties as idle gossip.
Image: Shahid Kapoor and Sania Mirza
Harbhajan Singh and Geeta Basra
First they floored each other with their vivacious, racy persona and fell head over heels in love.
Just as talks of their impending wedding began to surface after she attended his sister's wedding and interacted with his folks, temperamental cricketer Harbhajan Singh and starlet Geeta Basra (of The Train fame) decides to call it quits owing to irresolvable conflicts.
Image: Harbhajan Singh and Geeta Basra
Leander Paes and Mahima Chaudhary
Common consensus was Wimbledon-champion Leander Paes and Bollywood star Mahima Chaudhary make quite a cute couple.
Alas, their romance met with its demise after the Pardes girl accused Paes of infidelity. While Mahima found an ideal husband in architect Bobby Mukherjee, Paes has set home with Rhea Pillai, formerly married to actor Sanjay Dutt.
Image: Leander Paes and Mahima Chaudhary
Isha Sharvani and Zaheer Khan
The Luck By Chance actress shared an instant connection with the 31-year-old fast bowler. Even as their relationship status became talk-of-the-town, the two began to drift apart and decided to go separate ways.
Only Isha Sharvani and Zaheer Khan are apparently too fond of each other to completely let go. If grapevine is to be believed, the duo has retrieved their 'couple' status.
Image: Zaheer Khan and Isha Sharvani
Neena Gupta and Sir Vivian Richards
Quite a few celebrities are capable of handling their lives with as much as grace as television star Neena Gupta. Though she never got married to legendary West Indies cricketer, Sir Vivian Richards, she revealed him to be the father of their daughter, Masaba, a well-known fashion designer in her own right.
Image: Neena Gupta and Sir Vivian Richards
Neha Dhupia and Ritwik Bhattacharya
They were a thing for the longest time. Everyone expected squash player Ritwik Bhattacharya and Bollywood hottie Neha Dhupia to take their relationship to another level sooner or later.
But the star of Julie and Singh is Kinng preferred to concentrate on her career instead and the couple parted ways.
Image: Neha Dhupia and Ritwik Bhattacharya
Sharmila Tagore and Nawab Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi
Unlike most marriages between sports and showbiz that have ended in disaster (read divorce), the bond between the blue-blooded Indian cricketer Nawab Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi and Bollywood A-lister Sharmila Tagore is the one that's truly survived the test of time and pressure.
One of the most elegant celebrity couples of all times, the duo has raised their three kids -- Saif, Soha and Saba -- to imbibe their combined qualities of polite charm and graceful behaviour.
Image: Nawab Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi and Sharmila Tagore
Ravi Shastri and Amrita Singh
Sometime in the 1980s, when cricketer turned commentator Ravi Shastri was at the top of his game and Betaab's Amrita Singh was making her mark in Hindi films, the two bumped into each other and got along like a house on fire.
Though the media reported them to be engaged, their relationship soon fizzled out.
Image: Amrita Singh and Ravi Shastri
Mohsin Khan and Reena Roy
Remember the glamorous star of musicals like Naseeb and Sanam Teri Kasam? At the peak of her career, Reena Roy quit movies to play wife to Pakistani opener, Mohsin Khan.
Bitten by the Bollywood bug, the cricketer made an awkward impression as hero in films like Fateh and Saathi. Their marriage didn't survive long and Roy returned to India with their daughter, Sanam.
Image: Mohsin Khan and Reena Roy