Barely days before the release of the much-hyped sports biopic MS Dhoni: The Untold Story, Indian batsman Gautam Gambhir has spoken out against the practice of making films on cricketers.
The India discard, who was overlooked by the national selectors for the upcoming Test series against New Zealand despite a consistent run in the Duleep Trophy, said there are many people more deserving than cricketers, and their contributions to the country deserve biopics.
"I don't believe in biopics on cricketers. I think those people who have contributed more to the country than the cricketers deserve a biopic. There are lots of people in the country who have done so many noble deeds for the nation. Therefore, biopics should be made on their lives," the Delhi batsman wrote in a post on Twitter.
— Gautam Gambhir (@GautamGambhir) September 18, 2016
The comment was obviously a dig at his former teammate and India team captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni. They could only deepen the rift between the two, who are known to share a frosty relationship over the years.
MS Dhoni: The Untold Story, the rags to riches tale of India's World Cup winning captain, releases on 30 September. Actor Sushant Singh Rajput features in the titular role, with the film being extensively shot in the 2011 World Cup-winning captain's hometown of Ranchi.
Biopics have earlier been made on cricketers including Mohammad Azharuddin (Azhar, released 2016) and the late Hansie Cronje (Hansie: A True Story, released 2008). A biographical film on Sachin Tendulkar (Sachin: A Billion Dreams) is currently under production. While a teaser was released in April earlier this year, no date has been announced for its release.
Gambhir has been out of favour with the selectors ever since his failures with the bat during the 2014 tour of England. The Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) skipper enjoyed a healthy run of form during the ninth edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), where he scored more than 500 runs while leading his side to the play-offs.
He then went on to record four consecutive half-centuries while captaining the India Blue team in the recently-concluded Duleep Trophy, and that had raised hopes of his selection in the India squad for the New Zealand Tests.
However, the Sandeep Patil-led selection panel, which picked its last squad before the conclusion of their term, decided to stick to the likes of Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan, whose Test credentials have been questioned quite often in recent times.