Page last updated at 16:23 GMT, Tuesday, 29 July 2008 17:23 UK

Tendulkar pads up for film role

By Prachi Pinglay
BBC News, Mumbai

Sachin Tendulkar
Tendulkar will appear alongside a number of top stars

India's star batsman Sachin Tendulkar, known as the Master Blaster of cricket, is making a debut in films.

He has not fallen for the glamour of glitzy Bollywood but has agreed to make a short appearance in a religious film entitled Vighnaharta.

Translated as Destroyer of Obstacles, the film is about Lord Ganesh, the elephant-headed Hindu deity worshipped widely in the state of Maharashtra.

It depicts miracles believed to have happened after offering prayers.

Security threats

The film is mostly set at the Siddhivinayak Temple in Mumbai (Bombay), India's financial capital, and capital of Maharashtra state.

The temple is frequented by thousands of worshippers every day.

Several celebrities walk to it on foot on important occasions such as new film releases and marriages.

Amitabh Bachchan
Amitabh Bachchan will co-star in the film

It is also heavily guarded because there have been several security threats over the last few years.

The director of the film, Yashwant Ingale, confirmed that Tendulkar was the only cricketer acting in the film along with several other Bollywood stars, including Amitabh Bachchan, Shilpa Shetty and Sridevi.

"Siddhivinayak Temple has a huge following in Mumbai and the [temple] trust was interested in getting the devotees involved in the film. So we approached many of them and everyone readily agreed," he said.

"We are going to show six or seven miraculous stories authorised by the temple trust. In one of them, Sachin has an important part towards climax of the story."

'Not superstitious'

It is likely that Tendulkar - a devotee of the temple - will play himself in the film.

"We decided to make this film because several devotees said more people should know about Lord Ganesh," said Subhash Mayekar of the Siddhivinayak Temple Trust.

Mr Ingale said that although the film is a religious story, it will depict the events in "a scientific manner and it is not a superstitious account".

Producer Rajiv Sanghvi added that the film will have a social message about taking care of parents.

"Lord Ganesh worshipped his parents a lot and devotees should implement that," Mr Sanghvi said.

The film is near completion and Tendulkar's part will be shot around 4 or 5 September, after he is back from a tour of Sri Lanka.

Ganesh Chaturthi, a 10-day long festival celebrating Ganesh, begins on 3 September.

The film is expected to be released by November during the festival season.

Sachin Tendular has been a favourite with the advertising world and endorses several brands but has never been part of any film.

Time up for Sachin Tendulkar?
26 Apr 07 |  South Asia
Letter from Mumbai: Is Sachin mortal?
23 Mar 06 |  South Asia
Age catching up with Tendulkar
29 Jul 07 |  England
Making sense of Sachin
20 Feb 06 |  South Asia

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