During an upheaval in the colonial India, a Dalit bowler Baloo Palwankar became known for his heroic struggle. Filmmaker Tigmanshu Dhulia is now all set to make a biopic on the cricketer. Titled “Baloo”, the film will chronicle the story of the left-arm spinner, who played for the Hindu Gymkhana Club in the early 1900s. He is hailed as the first member of the Dalit caste to make a significant impact on the sport. “I prefer telling stories about unsung heroes. Like Paan Singh, Baloo Palwankar too is unknown outside cricketing circle. His story is the story of India and what better backdrop to have than cricket,” Tigmanshu said.
Produced by Vinay Sinha and Priti Sinha, the film is expected to roll out next year as currently the makers are finishing the research work of the movie, being carried out by historian Dr Ramachandra Guha. “Tigmanshu had read a book by Ramachandra Guha which had a chapter about Baloo. He asked me to read it too because the story was absolutely fascinating. He not only played cricket but also entered politics later. His life is worth putting on the big screen,” Priti said.
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Despite being one of the finest cricketers of his time, Baloo was apparently never allowed to lead the team as a captain because of his so-called lower caste status. The producer says they have obtained a no objection certificate from the cricketer’s family and will be looking to cast an A-list Bollywood star once the writing for the project is complete.”
This will be another biopic on a cricketer after series of films like ‘MS Dhoni: The Untold Story’, ‘Azhar’ and the upcoming documentary on Sachin Tendulkar.