New Delhi: Actor Saqib Saleem has opened up about the groundwork that went into his portrayal of Vice Captain Mohinder Amarnath in the upcoming film ’83’ and said that years of watching and living cricket played a large hand in warming up for the movie.Directed by Kabir Khan, ’83’ is based on India’s victory in the 1983 Cricket World Cup. Saqib is part of an ensemble cast that includes Ranveer Singh, who will be seen as Captain Kapil Dev. Quitting the gym is among one of the most difficult things that Saqib did to ready himself for the role.Saqib said: “I have been prepping for this role my entire life. As a child, teenager and until my 20s, all I wanted was to be a cricketer. I was obsessed with it. I’ve played cricket at the state level and I thought that someday I would pursue the sport as a profession.
Committed to authenticity, Saqib not only underwent a massive body transformation, but also walked in the shoes of Amarnath to embody his composed demeanour. The actor was on a rigorous training to ace batsmanship, one of Amarnath’s strongest suits. The actor’s cricket background helped him sink into the character.He added: “I was psyched when the role of Vice Captain Amarnath in 83 came to me. All those hours spend watching matches, analysing players’ game and crunching numbers were well worth it. I made great memories and I gave the film everything I had.”’83’ highlights India winning the 1983 World Cup under the leadership of Kapil Dev, played by Ranveer Singh. Actor-singer Harrdy Sandhu will essay the role of Madan Lal in the Kabir Khan directorial.The film is all set to release theatrically worldwide on Thursday.