Enda Leahy, Sunday Tribune
A Bollywood producer wants to shoot some of his movie about the death of cricket coach Bob Woolmer in Ireland and plans to cast Irish actors in the roles of the amateur cricketers who knocked Pakistan out of the World Cup.
Musical maker Mukesh Bhatt and his brother Mahesh are to approach the Irish Film Board for funding. The brothers have described the movie as a "romance" incorporating themes of match-fixing and murder on the beaches of Jamaica.
Woolmer, 58, died less than 24 hours after Pakistan's shock defeat at the hands of Ireland in March. But the tragedy rapidly turned into one of the most bizarre dramas in the history of sport. The upset sparked uproar in cricket-mad Pakistan, with crowds burning effigies of Woolmer amid accusations of match-fixing by betting cartels.
The Bhatt brothers, who are regarded as controversial in India, are also working on a film about the 7/7 London bombings.
Mukesh Bhatt, the producer, said last week that work has on the cricket script has already begun and the film will be a "romance" musical called Jannat, or Paradise.
"We are looking at filming in Ireland, definitely," he said in an interview with the Sunday Tribune.
"I visited Ireland last year. It's a beautiful country, Dublin was fantastic, and I visited Galway. It's a beautiful place. We're also planning that it won't be just actors from Bollywood but we'll be looking at casting from Ireland and the UK. We're at the scripting stage at the moment. By the end of this month we should be ready to start. Then we'll be talking to the Irish Film Board about it."
One of Woolmer's last acts was to email his wife, which it seems will be used to portray the story in typically melodramatic Bollywood fashion.
Mukesh Bhatt's trip to Ireland last year was at the invitation of Tourism Ireland, the cross-border body to attract overseas visitors. The state-funded body has approached Bhatt, and a number of Bollywood directors, in the hope of attracting the industry to Ireland.