Throughout his career, former Pakistani cricketer, Shoaib Akhtar has always managed to remain in the headlines. From his aggressive attitude on the cricket field to some repulsive statements away from it, the Pakistani fast bowler has been embroiled in one controversy after another. Regardless, the 43-year-old could easily make girls swoon thanks to his easy going attitude and good looks. And while he did have a lot of female fans, he himself was smitten by none other than Bollywood starlet of the 90s, Sonali Bendre - so much so that he made claims of being "madly in love" with her.
An earlier report published by Economic Times stated that the Pakistani bowler was first introduced to Sonali when he watched her film, English Babu Desi Mem opposite Shah Rukh Khan. Shoaib was so obsessed with the actress that he would carry around a photo of her in his wallet. Yeah, we're shocked too! The walls in his room were also full of posters of Sonali. He had become so crazy about her that he once said that he would propose her and if she rejected, he would kidnap her. Now that's something to be worried about.
While Shoaib kept talking about Sonali, she on the other hand, did not even know who he was. In an earlier interview, she was once asked about the Pakistani cricketer's infatuation of her to which she said, "I don't know any Pakistani cricketer named Shoaib Akhtar as I'm not a cricket fan at all. It’s funny that every time India plays Pakistan, the media swamps me with calls to find out about him. I’ve heard he’s my fan. All I can say is I’m thankful for that." Phew. Now, that's a good reply.
While not many know about Shoaib's obsession with Sonali, it's not the first time a Pakistani cricketer has been linked to a Bollywood actress. The likes of Mohsin Khan, Wasim Akram as well as current Pakistani Prime Minister, Imran Khan - who used to play cricket in the 70s till the 90s. Mohsin married Bollywood actress Reena Roy, at the peak of her career in 1983. However, soon after they got divorced. Pakistani pacer Wasim was also linked to Bollywood star and former Miss Universe, Sushmita Sen. Rumours of their relationship began in 2008 when the two of them judged a reality show called Ek Khiladi Ek Haseena. Later, in 2013, Wasim and Sushmita addressed the gossip and put all rumours to rest stating that they weren't dating each other. Likewise, Imran was also smitten by Bollywood beauty Zeenat Aman. Sparks of their romance started in the 70s and 80s but they parted ways soon after.