I have become fan of Asthik Shetty: Mohammad Azharuddin
Asthik Shetty is also called as Tulunadu Singham. The star, who has already acted in popular Kannada films is making big waves in Coastalwood. He also has a fan association called “Asthik shetty Fan Club”, which is a rarity for Tulu actors. However what many people may not know is that he is very passionate of cricket. He used to play professional cricket, but had to leave it for his acting career. However he is back to playing cricket thanks to Coastalwood Premier League. In an exclusive chat with SeeandSay.in, Asthik speaks about his passion for cricket and also about his favourite cricketer Mohammad Azharuddin, who has now become a fan of Asthik Shetty!
Were you passionate about cricket since childhood?
I have been playing cricket since school days. I studied in Shri Mahalingeshwara English Medium School in Surathkal, where we did not have very big sports infrastructure as some of big schools in Mangaluru had those days. We hardly used to play cricket in hard ball. We found out that there is cricket league happening for school boys in Mangaluru. We convinced our principal and sports authorities to open net practice sessions and provide materials so that we could also play hard ball cricket. They luckily supported us. I captained the team in high school, We went to league matches. In the first year itself, we entered finals of league. We beat many big teams. In finals however we came a close second.
Did you plan to be a cricketer?
I used to only play cricket. My dream was to be a cricketer. I never thought I will be an actor. I loved cricket. I used to follow cricket and cricketers. I was a big fan of Mohammad Azharuddin and used to try his cricketing shots as a kid . I would also go to Bengaluru to watch international as well as IPL matches. However I could not continue with cricket as a career.
Why did you quit your cricket career?
In my degree, I was supposed to play for Zone level. During selections, I found out that talent is only not needed to secure a place in team. There are many other factors as well. I was disappointed and decided that I will not play cricket. It was a very tough decision, but I had to take the decision. When I was in my degree itself, I decided that I will not pursue my career in cricket.
What made you choose acting career?
I decided to be part of something, which is as famous as cricket. The two big things in India are cricket and films. I decided to go to film industry as it was my second love. If cricket has not given me something, then I need something which will give me same fame and name and also which I loved to do as acting was not at all new to me. I used to take part in school dramas and activities for fun. In final year degree, I decided that film industry is the field, which I must be part of. I got into modeling initially and later entered film industry.
When did you meet your idol Azharuddin?
Azharuddin was brand ambassador of MPL. There was a match between organisers team and Tulu actors. I was supposed to play for the Tulu actors team. But I had a shoot next day, so I decided not to take risk by playing the match. I just went to support my team and was pleasently surprised to see Azharuddin there. I wanted to tell him. how I adored him, but I could not speak much on that day. I hoped that I could meet him again and I was lucky enough to share stage with him during UPL again recently.
How was it sharing stage with Azharuddin?
I was always fascinated with Azharuddin sir. He was a wristy magician hitting splendid fours and sixes to all the bowlers. It really inspired me to take up cricket seriously . As a kid I really followed this champion cricketer. Mohammed Azharuddin had a difficult time in last few days as international cricketer. He fought and won an alleged allegation and a film was made on his life, which shows what a champion he is. My destiny also after fighting for my career bloomed into an actor which I am satisfied but the passion for this beautiful game of cricket never died. Just few days back I met this fighter personally in my hometown and was lucky to have shared the stage alongside him for an event and in the process we both shared our respective careers only to realise that apart from an terrific batsman, he was also a good human being. And much to my delight and also the icing on the cake, he went on to stage and thanked me for being one of his biggest fan and I could not believe the next line he told was ” Today I met one of a very humble star and his talks have made me his fan and I shall surely want to catch up with his movies hereafter.” This was such a beautiful feeling and it actually made my entire life.
How was the feeling when Azharuddin praised you?
I was surprised. I may not have become a professional cricketer. But former Indian cricket team captain, who is considered as a legend said that he has become my fan. What else do I need. It was best feeling ever. I was his huge fan and when he said this line, I also came to know why he was called great. Even after being such a great sportsperson, he was so humble. Thank you Azhar bhai for the compliments and I hope you have many more years to serve for the country in whatever way possible for cricket.
How was it playing in Coastalwood Premier League?
It was a wonderful experience. I felt like I was reliving my moments as I had so much love and passion for the game. I captained Glitz Gladiator team with a bunch of very talented boys alongside a passionate owners which came runners up in the tournament. Initially I thought that the matches will be played like friendly matches and none of them will be serious. But I was proved wrong. Everyone played the matches so seriously and kudos to my team for really playing so well. It was a well fought match. My friends and family could see how happy I was, as I was living my passion again through CPL. I thank CPL for giving me an opportunity again to play cricket and So as the saying goes ” Sometimes when u miss your first love (in my case cricket ) there is always the second love which might bloom and become the love of your life “( this time Acting), so never say first love is everything.Everything if you love by Heart,is actually the love of your life.