Ravi Shastri, Manoj Prabhakar, Sangeeta Bijlani: List of people upset with 'Azhar' grows
Azhar, the film, may have met with the wholehearted approval of its subject — Mohammad Azharuddin.
But there are far too many people who're also unhappy about the way certain events have been depicted in Azhar — and we don't mean the reviewers.
First, there were reports that former Miss India-actress Sangeeta Bijlani was apprehensive about how she would be portrayed on screen (actress Nargis Fakhri was roped in to play Sangeeta on screen). Azharuddin had met Sangeeta when he was still married to first wife Naureen, and the couple had two little sons. His affair with Sangeeta had created quite the backlash in the former Team India skipper's hometown of Hyderabad.
However, in press interactions leading up to the release of Azhar, Azharuddin said that he wasn't aware if Sangeeta had any issues with the film.
Yet another voice of protest against Azhar was former Team India player Manoj Prabhakar. There were news reports that Prabhakar had specifically asked for a preview of the film before it released in theatres. However, the Azhar team turned down his request.
Prabhakar's issue with the film seemed to be about an opening batsman in the film named "Manoj" whose last name is not used, being depicted as the reason for India losing a crucial match. Prabhakar, incidentally, was a key witness against Azharuddin in the 2000 match-fixing controversy which effectively ended the latter's cricket career. Last heard, Prabhakar was contemplating legal action against the makers of Azhar.
It doesn't end there.
The latest controversy around the film has been about Ravi Shastri taking offence at the way he has been portrayed in the film. One of the scenes shows Gautam Gulati (the actor who plays Shastri in the film) canoodling with a woman in a hotel room while his wife is looking for him.
Shastri has reportedly approached cricket authorities with his concerns over Azhar.
The Azhar team has not yet issued any statement in this regard.