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Film, liquor and cricket… the story of the fast bowler who life turned into a real ‘fighter’

One such fast bowler from Maharashtra who started with a hat-trick in his debut match and got a place in Team India within a year with his strong game. The name of this player was Salil Ankola, whose later life was very struggling. This was the period of the 1990s during which players like Anil Kumble, Javagal Srinath, Ajit Agar and Sachin Tendulkar also made their debuts. These are names that have earned a lot of name in Indian cricket but players like Ankola have faded away.

Ankola, who started his career with Sachin, could only play one Test and 20 ODIs for Team India. After that he was dropped from the team and then gradually he lost in the darkness of oblivion. However, now he has narrated the pain of his past life and memories related to cricket.

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In an interview given to Cricbuzz, Ankola said, ‘There came a time when I was dropped from the team. I just got selected in the India A team. I got less chance to play in this team as well. I only used to carry drinks for the players. After all these things, by the time of 2001, I completely broke away from cricket.

He said, ‘During this time I got a job offer from Sony channel but I refused. I don’t know why I took that stupid decision. Maybe I hated the game because of which I even stopped watching it.’

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Salil said, ‘I wanted to join cricket as a coach but it turned out to be very difficult in my thinking. In today’s time the method of coaching has changed. There is a lot of difference now from earlier coaching. I had also applied to the NCA for a level two coach but then I wrote a letter to Rahul Dravid and refused it. I don’t see myself as a coach. I don’t have that much patience, I am a very angry person.’

Apart from cricket, Salil also tried his hand in TV serials and films. He acted in more than 25 TV serials including CID, Savdhaan India, Kora Kagaz and also worked in Kurukshetra film with Sanjay Dutt.

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Regarding working in films, Salil said, when I was dropped from Team India, I blamed my luck. Meanwhile, I got offers from some TV serials and films. This offer was not because I was a very good actor but because of my physique and good looks, I got this offer.

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