Most of us often get carried away and get annoyed when we don’t get the desired outcome of our actions. But there are a plethora of stories that highlight the importance of “keeping striving” and working hard regardless of the outcome. The story of cricketer-turned-actor Salil Ankola is a glaring example of how he never allowed fate to overcome his actions and passion. Eventually, fate played in his favour. This article highlights his unique journey from a cricketer to a famed TV actor.
The unique journey of Salil Ankola
The 1989 tournament between India and Pakistan marked the debuts of two Indian cricketers who later had very different journeys. One was 16-year-old Sachin from Mumbai, who later became known as the “God of Cricket,” Sachin Tendulkar. The other was a 21-year-old fast bowler named Salil Ankola.
Born in 1968 in Sholapur, Maharashtra, Salil belongs to a Konkani family, hailing from Ankola village in Uttara Kannada district. He wanted to make a name for himself in cricket. He shifted to Bombay [now Mumbai], where he made an impact in domestic cricket.
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In those days, the Bombay lobby had a great influence on the BCCI. It was only natural for Salil Ankola to be selected. But he was not alone; Sachin Tendulkar was also selected along with him, despite his young age.
From here on, things changed for both of them. Sachin became one of India’s most influential cricketers, and Salil Ankola’s fate played cruel tricks. Despite being a good player, he got very few chances and was “dropped” more often, sometimes even without playing any matches. For this very reason, a unique term was also coined in cricket some time ago: “Ankolad”, that is, the person who is removed from the team without playing.
He was often scapegoated to make room for other players. Eventually, he retired from cricket in 1997 after being frustrated with the indifference of the selectors and injuries. Overall, he played 1 test and 20 One Day Internationals.
Afterwards, he chose to play his part on the silver screen. Earlier, several cricketers like Sunil Gavaskar, Syed Kirmani, Sandeep Patil, etc. had tried their luck on TV and in the movies, but they gained little or no success at all.
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But Salil had a few things going in his favor. First, he was athletic, and he had a cinematically attractive personality. He immediately got a few opportunities. He acted in some shows and films like “Kora Kagaz”, “Kurukshetra”, “Pita”, and “Chura Liya Hai Tumne”. Here too, he had very few opportunities. However, he made it count when he got the role of Ghostbuster Vikral in “Sssshh Koi Hai”. Many people still associate him with that very role.
However, his troubles didn’t end after the success of the show. At one point, his alcohol addiction took him to a rehab center. Meanwhile, he lost his wife. Undeterred by this, he again turned to TV. Parallelly, he got a call from the cricket fraternity.
Currently, he is one of the chief selectors of the Mumbai Cricket Association and occasionally tries his hand at acting. Do share your comments on what are the memories you recollect about him and whether you liked this unique story of our very own Vikral, aka Salil Ankola.
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