Top Bollywood actor Anushka Sharma is returning after a maternity hiatus with the lead role in “Chakda Xpress,” a Netflix film inspired by the life of one of women cricket’s all-time greatest players, Jhulan Goswami.
A fast bowler, Goswami holds the world record for the highest number of wickets in an international career that spanned 2002-2021. The film traces her inspirational journey as she moves up the ladder despite the hindrances posed by misogynistic politics to fulfil her dream of playing cricket for India. Goswami succeeded in her goal and went on to captain the Indian women’s national cricket team and is a role model for aspiring cricketers in the country.
“Chakda Xpress” will be shot in India and the U.K. and will be produced by Sharma and Karnesh Ssharma’s Clean Slate Filmz (“NH10,” “Pari”). Prosit Roy (Amazon series “Paatal Lok,” “Pari”) will direct.
Sharma said: “It is a really special film because it is essentially a story of tremendous sacrifice. ‘Chakda Xpress’ is inspired from the life and times of former Indian captain Jhulan Goswami and it will be an eye-opener into the world of women’s cricket. At a time when Jhulan decided to become a cricketer and make her country proud on the global stage, it was very tough for women to even think of playing the sport. This film is a dramatic retelling of several instances that shaped her life and also women’s cricket.”
“From support systems, to facilities, to having a stable income from playing the game, to even having a future in cricket – very little propelled women of India to take up cricket as a profession,” said Sharma. “Jhulan had a fighting and extremely uncertain cricketing career and she stayed motivated to make her country proud. She strived to change the stereotype that women can’t make a career out of playing cricket in India so that the next generation of girls had a better playing field.”
Honors accorded to Goswami include the International Cricket Council Player of the Year award in 2007 and the M.A. Chidambaram trophy for Best Women’s Cricketer in 2011. In 2018, an Indian postage stamp was issued in her honor.
Goswami said: “Now is the time to watch the women shine. It’s our time and we’re here to play. Today, you see us. Tomorrow, you’ll remember our names. Join us, as we cheer for Team India and bring to you this story. ‘Chakda Xpress’ is now filming. Meet you on the field.”
“Chakda Xpress” will be the second Netflix film for Clean Slate Filmz after “Bulbbul” (2020).
Karnesh Ssharma of Clean Slate Filmz said: “In India, cricket is not just a sport, but an emotion. We at Clean Slate Filmz are dedicated to bringing the best of stories and ‘Chakda Xpress is one such unique story. [After] the positive response that ‘Bulbbul’ received and how far it travelled, I am thrilled to partner with Netflix again as this is a story that can resonate with the audiences worldwide.”
Pratiksha Rao, director, films and licensing, Netflix India, said: “The journey of Jhulan Goswami, while deeply inspiring, is also painfully astounding in revealing the many odds she encountered; and ‘Chakda Xpress’ is the story of her achievements in spite of those challenges.
“83,” an account of the Indian men’s cricket team winning the 1983 World Cup is currently on theatrical release.
Anushka Sharma is married to Indian men’s test cricket team captain Virat Kohli.
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