The Music Queen Lata Mangeshkar is a Cricket Buff

The Queen of Melody, our beloved Lata Mangeshkar turns 91 today. Born as Hema and later named Lata that was inspired by ‘latika’, a popular character from her father’s play Bhaaw Bandhan, she has ruled our hearts with her music for over eight decades. She started singing at the tender age of 13 and has many landmarks to her illustrious career that included singing the soulful Aey Mere Watan Ke Logon that moved the Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the then PM of India to tears. She is the first ever singer to have performed at the Royal Albert Hall in London in 1974.A passionate cricket fan, Lata Mangeshkar has an ardent love for the game and often tweets about it.

From expressing her sorrow at the demise of Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi to showing concern when Yuvraj Singh was diagnosed with cancer, Lataji has truly shown she is a passionate cricket fan. She and her sisters have even fasted for the Indian cricket team for their better performances.

From featuring in the iconic song ‘Mile Sur Mera Tumhara’ to sharing a very close bond with cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar, Lata has been close to the sportspersons, especially cricketers, like no other. In the old music video, Lata was seen alongside several sports personalities such as former India cricketer S Venkatraghavan, Prakash Padukone, Narendra Hirwani, Arun Lal, PK Banerjee, Banerjee, Gurbux Singh, Syed Kirmani, Leslie Claudius, and Chuni Goswami.

In 1983, when Kapil Dev’s Indian cricket team created history by defeating the West Indies to win the World Cup in England, Lata even staged a free concert for the team.

“I watched the final at Lord’s. I could not believe that we had won the World Cup defeating the two-times champion West Indies. Naturally, as an Indian, I felt very proud of the achievement,” she recalled years later. After winning the trophy, Kapil Dev invited me for a dinner with the Indian team in London. I went there for a while and congratulated the team. The duration of the concert was four hours I remember that all the members of the team have sung a song, specially composed by my brother Hridaynath, with me. Sunil Gavaskar and Kapil Dev were standing beside me,” she added.

When VVS Laxman guided India to one of their most thrilling wins over Australia the Mohali Test in 2010, she took to Twitter to express her feelings. A die-hard fan of Tendulkar, Lata had said, “”Sachin treats me like his mother and I always pray for her like a mother. I can never forget the day when he called me ‘aai’ (mother) for the first time. I had never imagined that. It was pleasant surprise for me and I feel blessed to have a son like him.”

Virat Kohli won a fan in her too. After the Indian batsman’s splendid 235 against England in the 2016 Mumbai Test, Lata dedicated a song to Kohli in 2016 – Aakash ke Uss Paar Bhi. After delivering a nail-biting semi final match against New Zealand on 9 July, MS Dhoni tweeted and requestedg him to not retire, like any loyal fan would. “Desh ko aapke khel ki zaroorat hai” (India needs your cricket) she had said.

Filmfare ME wishes her a long and healthy innings!


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