He almost developed cold feet before shaking a leg in front of Indian dancing diva Madhuri Dixit. But Sri Lankan master blaster Sanath Jayasuriya, who is back in his country after being eliminated from reality show “Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa 5”, says he was especially overwhelmed with the great actress’ warmth and the whole experience was “amazing” though “tough”.
He has gone back with happy memories and hopes to return to India soon.
“The show is completely different from what I do in life but I enjoyed it thoroughly. The contestants are talented and hard working. The three wonderful judges (Madhuri, Karan Johar and Remo D’Souza) were really warm towards me, especially Madhuri,” Jayasuriya told IANS in an email interview from Sri Lanka.
In one episode, Madhuri asked the legendary cricketer to sing a few lines from a Sinhalese song. In return, Jayasuriya asked her to match steps with him to popular Sri Lankan dance form Baila in another episode of the show. She also taught him the right moves of Indian classical dance.
Madhuri was also generous while giving points to Jayasuriya, who was referred to as ‘Sir’ by Karan and Remo.
The 43-year-old surprised his friends, family and fans when the news of his participation in the celebrity dance show spread all over. But he took it as a challenge and worked hard with his choreographer Suchitra to learn leg work on a different pitch. He even managed Bollywood’s popular snake dance step.
“It was an amazing experience overall, but a tough one for me. I tried to put in a lot of hard work and enjoyed to the fullest. It was nice to learn a bit of salsa and jive. Before the show I had never performed on a stage; am happy I could do so,” said the cricketer, adding that he definitely won’t mind dancing at a celebration next time.
He has been associated with television in one way or the other throughout his over two decade career, but reality TV had a different taste, he says.
“I have been doing various TV stints, commentating for a couple of years now. Reality TV shoot is quite different from cricket commentating or the live TV coverage you are part as often as a cricket player,” said Jayasuriya, who even appeared in a cameo on a daily soap during his stint here.
“Mumbai is a city very special to me, I have lots of friends, I enjoyed my days playing for the Mumbai Indians. Indian fans are always very supportive and welcoming. Would be nice to come back and be associated with the IPL (Indian Premier League) next year,” he added.
Meanwhile, “Sri Lanka Premiere League is about to start. So I will be busy practising,” he said.
(Radhika Bhirani can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)