Ever since it was announced that Jiiva was part of Kabir Khan’s 83, there has been a lot of excitement in Kollywood. And why not? After all, it’s a combination of the two things south Indians are most passionate about — films and cricket. This film, which is about the Indian Cricket team’s 1983 World Cup win, will see Jiiva essaying the role of Krishnamachari Srikkanth. It will also mark Jiiva’s Bollywood debut. With people here being aware of his love for cricket, Jiiva says that he is happy to be have been chosen to play Srikkanth’s role. “It’s an honour,” he exclaims, happily, “He is the pride of Tamil Nadu, the place I belong to.” But the process of being chosen for the film was quite tough, says Jiiva. “I had Sandhu Sir (Balwinder Singh Sandhu) and Kabir Khan, who flew down from Mumbai to watch me bat at the nets. It was like an under-19 selection process… I was a bit nervous, but I must thank Sandhu sir, who was patient and made me understand that he didn’t want Jiiva batting out there, but wanted to see Srikkanth sir’s batting techniques in me. I guess it all began from there,” recalls Jiiva.
The team was recently in Dharamshala for a training session and the actor says that it was a great experience meeting the entire cast. He says, “Fifteen days in Dharamshala was a great experience as that was the first time I was meeting and travelling with the 83 team. It felt nice as a unit, and as a team, we all synced in so well. But the training session was very intense. Each of us knew what we were supposed to do and we had two training sessions a day. What was exciting about the training was that we had former players from the 1983 World Cup team come to Dharamshala and share their experiences.”