Star-struck sports champions often find their soul mates in movie stars. Virat Kohli and Anushka Sharma, KL Rahul and Athiya Shetty, and Yuvraj Singh and Hazel Keech are a few names from the rather long list.
But then, there are sportspeople, who are finding their better halves on the field. As the rising star of the Chennai Super Kings, Ruturaj Gaikwad, recently tied the knot with fellow cricketer Utkarsha Pawar, here is to sports celebs who found their partners on the play ground!
Pitch to the altar
Ruturaj Gaikwad & Utkarsha Pawar
Reportedly, Ruturaj Gaikwad and Utkarsha Pawar both played for the Maharashtra domestic cricket, and have been dating for long. Ruturaj just enjoyed a remarkable IPL season, being the second-highest run-scorer at the champions Chennai Super Kings, and soon after, he shared the happy news by captioning their dreamy photos, “From the pitch to the altar, our journey begins.”
Best match of life
Saina Nehwal & Parupalli Kashyap
The love for badminton and mutual admiration brought shuttlers Saina Nehwal and Parupalli Kashyap together. They met during a camp in 1997 and started dating in the early 2000s. Through the ups and downs, they kept motivating each other and became man and wife in 2018. “Best match of my life,” posted Kashyap sharing the good news on social media.
Pullela Gopichand and PVV Lakshmi is another famed court couple!
Love & loyalty
Bajrang Punia & Sangeeta Phogat
The winsome wrestlers from Haryana came close during 2017 Pro-wrestling League. Their matches were scheduled together, and then they started training together. He is in love with her cheerfulness and she values his loyalty. They got married in 2020. The couple has stood together in protest against the sexual exploitation of women wrestlers.
In fact, another famous Phogat wrestler, Geeta, found her lover in wrestler Pawan Kumar!
India meets Pak
Sania Mirza & Shoaib Malik
She a tennis ace, he a former Pakistan national cricket team captain; she India’s pride and he Pakistan’s joy – when the duo got hitched in 2010 many feathers were ruffled. The duo welcoming a son in 2018. The couple’s happy union has been under the shadow of divorce. However, their cryptic notes could be for the promotions of The Mirza Malik Show.
The bull’s eye
Heena Sidhu & Ronak Pandit
Ace shooters and Arjuna awardee, they got married in 2013. The first Indian pistol shooter to be ranked World Number 1, and two-time Olympian Heena’s partnership with her spouse is made special as he is also her coach. They are now raising a daughter they were blessed with in 2021.
Dinesh Karthik & Deepika Pallikal
Not always sports folks marry from the same field. Cricketer Dinesh Karthik found his ladylove in ace squash player Deepika Pallikal. Theirs was a Pride and Prejudice story, as our leading lady was averse to the name and fame cricket enjoys over other games. The duo came together as they were training under the same fitness coach. He proposed to her in London and they got engaged in Chennai in 2013. A Christian wedding and another Hindu-Telugu wedding sealed the deal in 2015. The couple welcomed twins Kabir Pallikal Karthik and Zian Pallikal Karthik in 2021.
The list also includes Atanu Das and Deepika Kumari, the famous archers, and Anju Bobby George and Robert Bobby George, the athletes, who found companion on tracks.
— Inputs by Rachael Rodrigues
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