New Delhi, Oct 7 (UNI) He has been in the news of late not for his exploits on the cricket field or the commentary box, but for his role as a judge of a dance show involving some of India's top cricketers and celebrities from the world of Glamour.
Pakistani cricketer Wasim Akram, who has been in the limelight for his role as judge of 'Ek Khiladi Ek Hasina' on the General entertainment channel 'Colors', however, says he has not learnt dancing as an art form.
''I haven't learnt dancing,''Akram admitted in a chat with mediapersons during his visit to the capital to promote the show where he diagnoses the dancing prowess of a celebrity couple comprising a famous cricketer and a glamorous TV or film actress.
Infact, when asked how he rated himself as a judge of a dance show, he said, ''We're not looking for a dance icon through the show. What I have to see is how the participating cricketers improve their dance. Moreover, Sushmita was there to judge the dancing.'' Akram says he almost refused when offered the job of being a judge on the show.
''When the channel called and asked me to be a judge in a dancing competition involving cricketers, I told them it was a wrong number.
But, as soon as Sushmita Sen's name cropped up, I promptly said 'I'm coming by the next flight,''Akram said.
Akram is all praise for the ''ever charming'' former beauty queen Sushmita.
''I learnt a lot from her like lip sync during sing-and-dance.
She helped me a lot in the show. She was very easygoing and made me feel at home,''the cricketer said.
He is also full of admiration for enthusiasm of the cricketers appearing on the show.
''Sreesanth, Nikhil and everybody else practiced for 12 hours at a stretch for the show. But, Vinod rehearsed the maximum,'' Akram said.
He, however, singles out Sreeshant for special praise.
''Sreesanth is a natural dancer,''he underlined.
Though this is Akram's second stint with television, it has been an exciting experience for him.
''I've participated on TV earlier as well in Pakistan, but this was much more fun,''he added.
Asked whether similar cultural exchanges were carried out in Pakistan too calling Indian stars to perform or judge on TV, he said ''after the post-military regime and setting up of the democratic process, security will be better and cultural exchanges of such magnitude will begin...We have hope.'' On whether he had been offered to work in Bollywood films, Wasim replies,''2-4 years ago, Mahesh Bhatt had called me for a movie but I refused. I told him acting is something I have to learn. Its not my cup of tea. I'd rather leave it to the professionals.'' Akram said his favourite dance is Amitabh's number in 'dilbar mere' from 'Satte Pe Satta'.
''My all-time favourite actor is Bollywood legend Amitabh Bachchan. When I was 11-year-old, the VHS tape of 'Kaalia' had been released and I still remember that we waited for a month to watch it. It reached our home after everybody else in the locality had seen it,''the cricketer said.
'Righteous Kill' and 'Rock On' are his current favourite movies.
On books, he says, ''I'm not a bookworm, but James patterson is my favourite author. I read while flying. Never thought I'd be reading some day something and never read anything even in childhood days.'' Asked about his favourite food, he said ''I'm a desi guy, I like desi food, I like desi life, that's life. India mein khana zabardast milta hai!'' UNI AR-PK ATI KP1100