Extending a friendly hand – “Dawat-e-Dosti”
Indian and Pakistan cricketers Felicitated by Sahara India Pariwar at Sahara Shaher

Total worth of the gift to the team is approx Rs. 4 crores

Lucknow , 12th November, 2007 : Both India and Pakistan have their separate provinces but Cricket is one game which unites both the countries into a single thread. This thought has been personified by Sahara India Pariwar – A 11 Billon Dollar conglomerate which is strongly committed to the cause of sports and today it is one of the largest supporters of sports in India. Over a long decade, they have been actively associated with different sports and have sponsored many national and international sporting events, not to mention national teams.

After playing the Kanpur ODI India and Pakistan Cricket team came to Sahara Shaher on November 11, night and stayed here for two days. Sahara India Pariwar, the main sponsor of the Indian Cricket Team, welcomed amidst the sounds of dhols and nagaras and a colorful evening ‘Dawat-E-Dosti’ for the Indian and Pakistani teams at Sahara Shaher, Lucknow. Along with Saharashri Shri Subrata Roy Sahara, Managing Worker & Chairman, Smt. Swapna Roy, Dy. Managing Worker (Personnel & Welfare), Shri OP Srivastava, Dy. Managing Worker (Controlling & Analysis), Shri Sushanto Roy, Head – Sahara Infrastructure & Housing, Shri Seemanto Roy, Head – Sahara One Media & Entertainment Ltd. and Aamby Valley City and other senior officials of Sahara India Pariwar greeted both the teams with an inimitable style of true spirit of sports with stoles and bouquets. The teams lodged at Sahara Shaher in an exclusive Kabana’s overlooking Cricket ground.  

On this occasion the Head - Corporate Communications of Sahara India Pariwar, Shri Abhijit Sarkar expressed his best wishes to both the teams and said, “Sahara India Pariwar is overwhelmed and proud to felicitate the teams for their wonderful contribution to the sport of cricket. We have always been emotionally attached to the cause of upliftment of sports & sportsmanship. We wish them all the best for their ongoing series.”

Indian cricket team celebrated its victory with a special 10 kg cake in the shape of a bat, prepared for Robin Utthapa’s birthday. Apart from Sapna Mukherjee and Brian Silas’ marvelous performances, Sreesanth astonished everyone with some wonderful melodies, which he played on piano, added flavors to the wonderful evening. The day ended with an exclusive private party followed by cocktail and dinner.

On November 12, Rawalpindi Express Shoaib Akhtar in the morning took some crucial time form his busy schedule and went to meet physically challenged children at Chetna School, Aliganj where he distributed gifts to mentally challenged children. Not only this he even played cricket with the Orphan Children, who came from Shrimadh Dayanand Bal Sadan, Moti Nagar at Sahara Shaher Cricket ground. While other cricketers from both the teams tried their hands on other sports available at Sahara Shaher such as Pool, Table Tennis, and Swimming etc. Pakistan cricketers did the net practices alongside they all enjoyed the state-of-the art Bowling Machine, High Tech Gymnasium, Physio and Mini Hospital etc at Sahara Shaher.

12 th evening started with an unique occasion, for the first time in the History the cricketers and film stars joined hands on stage to enthrall the audience & fellow cricketers. The evening witnessed everything from wit and humour, interlaced with the melody of foot-tapping numbers, wrapped in the form of a star studded musical extravaganza organized by Sahara India Pariwar .King Khan and Superstar of Bollywood, Shah Rukh Khan danced along with Harbajan Singh on tunes on Shahrukhs’s latest blockbuster. Preety actress Diya Mirza accompanied both the stars on the stage. Yuvraj recited dialogues from King Khan’s famous blockbuster “Devdas” in Punjabi dialect amusing audiences; Dhoni stunned everyone with his stylish Don act on the footsteps of King Khan. This was followed by a never seen before dance performance by Shreesanth who astounded the audience by his impromptu dance performance. Even King Khan danced to his tunes.

In the star studded two and a half hours programme the preety damsels of Bollywood - Kareena Kapoor, Diya Mirza and Koena Mitra presented magnificent performances to entertain the India and Pakistan teams. Bollywood’s renowned anchor Sajid Khan, was at his witty best and captivated the audience with his humour and amusing commentary.

The memorable evening started with the address of Shri Sushanto Roy, Head-Sahara Infrastructure and Housing. This was followed by a foot tapping performance by Koena Mitra on the song from the film ‘Don’. The dance performance by Diya Mirza added colors to the evening as she danced on “where’s the party tonight”. While Kareena Kapoor who is better known as the queen of hearts put up a thrilling performance on the tunes of songs from her latest hit “Jab we Met”. Ace choreographer Ganesh Hegde set the stage alive with his extraordinary dance sequences and also sang melodious bollywood songs. The star performance of the evening was of course Shah Rukh Khan, who with some of the cricket stars stole the show. In the end King Khan presented a dance sequence with Kareena Kapoor, Diya Mirza and Koena Mitra.

The evening culminated with a felicitation ceremony of the cricketers by ‘Saharasri’ Shri Subrata Roy Sahara, Managing Worker & Chairman, Sahara India Pariwar with special gifts and bouquets. The players of both India and Pakistan cricket team along with the Bollywood stars came on stage to pose for a photograph.

The programme was followed by a gala display of fireworks and an exclusive jam session where the cricketers along with the bollywood stars danced till late into the night.

Felicitating and rewarding sportspersons is almost a regular affair with Sahara India Pariwar. Thier involvement is not just limited to winning times alone. Since their association with sports is on a very emotional level, they usually go out of their way to do more than what is required of them. In the sporting circle, they are most popularly known for their sponsorship of the Indian Cricket Team. Thanks to the popularity of Cricket in India, where Cricket is not just a game. The emotion attached to the game is phenomenal and their decision to be the sponsors of the game also has lots to do with emotion. This amiable initiate of Sahara India Pariwar to organize “Dawat-e-Dosti” is indeed a worthy gesture to bring both India and Pakistan together and building harmony between them.

Sahara's Sports Initiative
Sahara India Pariwar has a noble dedication towards the cause of sport, which is reflected in their association with different sports on National, International and in-house levels.
In lieu of its commitment, Sahara India Pariwar is also the official sponsor of Indian Cricket Team, Indian Women’s Cricket Team and Indian Hockey Team. Sahara India Pariwar was awarded the prestigious FICCI annual award 2002-2003 for “Outstanding Corporate Sports Initiative".