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Shibani Dandekar Hosts as Farhan Akhtar Gets Warm Welcome at 2019 Cricket World Cup Opening

Representing India alongside Anil Kumble, Farhan Akhtar joined rumoured girlfriend and host Shibani Dandekar at the opening ceremony of the Cricket World Cup in London.


Updated:May 30, 2019, 7:33 AM IST
Shibani Dandekar Hosts as Farhan Akhtar Gets Warm Welcome at 2019 Cricket World Cup Opening
Image: Instagram

Farhan Akhtar and Shibani Dandekar have been painting the town red in London for a few days now, and now we know why the much-loved Bollywood couple have been spending so many days in the British capital. On Wednesday night, Shibani Dandekar joined Andrew Flintoff and Paddy McGuinness on the 2019 ICC World Cup opening ceremony stage, to introduce the captains from the participating captains and also bring forth the excitement of fans who had gathered to witness the event.

One of the loudest cheers went up as Team India captain Virat Kohli was introduced. But the ceremony wasn't just about cricket, it was also about representing each country competing at the prestigious tournament, and so, in a section of the event, we saw one legendary cricket player, alongwith an achiever from some other sporting disciplines, and even popular culture, welcomed at the ceremony.

While representatives from other countries included Nobel Peace laureate Malala Yousafzai (Pakistan), Afghan singer Aryana Sayeed and actress Jaya Ahsan (Bangladesh), Farhan Akhtar walked in alongside Anil Kumble as the crowd cheered. The guests even indulged in a bit of gully cricket on the Mall, trying to bat on behalf of their countries.

Before Farhan and Kumble went up on behalf of India, they had to field some questions from Shibani first. When Shibani asked them about the strategy for the challenge, and the actor-filmmaker joked, "The strategy is that I am going to take a single to the other side and let Kumble hit all the sixes."

Shibani then asked him when was the last time he's played cricket, and Farhan's jokes continued, "When India won the World Cup in 2011 I thought it was best to retire when we were on top of our game."

Unfortunately, team India ended up at the bottom of the scoreboard after the gully cricket match, with Farhan and Kumble scoring 19 runs only.

Although they haven't admitted in public, Farhan and Shibani's Instagram PDA for a while now has led fans to believe the two are an item.

The opening ceremony of the third most watched sporting event in the world took place at the iconic London Mall against a majestic backdrop of the Buckingham Palace. The venue had close to 4000 cricket fans.

The official launch, also called the 'Opening Party', was held ahead of the first match scheduled for May 30 between South Africa and the hosts, England. This was the first time that the opening ceremony of the Cricket World Cup was not held inside a stadium.

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