By Zubair Ahmed
BBC News, Mumbai
A leading Bollywood producer has offered Pakistan's top cricket star Shoaib Akhtar a lead role in his next film, Gangster.
Shoaib Akhtar is said to have the qualities of a star
The producer, Mahesh Bhatt, who has worked with Pakistani actors before, is meeting Akhtar in Karachi next week to persuade him to accept the role.
According to him, Akhtar is amused and surprised by the offer, but is willing to read the script.
Former Pakistani cricketer Mohsin Khan acted in a Bhatt film in 1987.
Mr Bhatt is confident Shoaib Akhtar, arguably the world's fastest bowler, will accept the offer.
"Once he hears the story he cannot refuse it," he says.
The proposed film is about an underworld mafia boss who is betrayed by the girl he loves.
'The right qualities'
Mr Bhatt and his director, Anurag Bose, believe the flamboyant cricketer has a lot of raw emotion, animal magnetism and "the vulnerability of a child" - qualities which they believe are needed to essay the gangster's role.
Shoaib Akhtar, who has been recently left out of the Pakistani national team on a tour of West Indies, has appeared in a commercial currently being shown on Indian television.
But many believe cricketers do not necessarily make good actors.
Mohsin Khan, who starred in one of Bhatt's films in 1987, did not get any further film offers after his maiden venture flopped.
Former Indian Test batsman Ajay Jadeja appeared in two movies after he was banned from the game following a match-fixing inquiry.
Since then he has got back to active cricket following the lifting of his ban.
But Mr Bhatt says Shoaib Akhtar is star material.
The producer has a reputation for using actors from Pakistan in his films.
His latest film, Nazar, which was released on Friday, has a Pakistani actor in it.