If Shah Rukh Khan and Sachin Tendulkar were asked what’s common between them, they would probably say cricket, considering SRK’s recent investment in the Indian Premier League’s Kolkata team. But surprisingly, there’s much more than cricket between them and the two icons are like kindred souls, as BT found out while tracking down their lives.

To begin with, their initials — while Shah Rukh Khan is SRK, Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar is SRT. The two made their respective debuts in the same year — Sachin played his first Test match (against Karachi) in 1989, the same year SRK featured in his first television film, In Which Annie Gives it...written by Arundhati Roy.

The two grew by leaps and bounds in their respective fields and rightly earned the titles of Master Blaster and the Badshah of Bollywood, respectively. Worldwide, Sachin went on to become the face of Indian cricket and SRK, the ultimate romantic hero of Bollywood. With titles came brand endorsements, the two superstars hogging every available space on hoardings, print media and television, while advertising pundits evaluated their market value which till today remains unshakable! That’s not all, the similarities extend into their personal lives as well, and both have homes in Bandra. They have two children each, a girl and boy — with the same initials; Sachin’s kids are Sara and Arjun and SRK’s, Suhana and Aryan. Both men’s elder children, Sara and Aryan, were born in the same year — 1997. But hold on, the similarities don’t end there. Ace photographer Atul Kasbekar, who has done most ad campaigns featuring Sachin and SRK and both together as well, adds, “They are extremely focussed. Once you get into their comfort zone, they give you as much freedom as you need. You can be assured that you can always count on them. That apart, the two are crazy about playstations. They both hate to lose a game. Once a guy on the set scored some 15,000-odd points while playing the Snake on his mobile phone. Though Sachin had never played the game before, he challenged him that he would break his record, and by afternoon he actually did that.”

Talking about games, the common factor between the two legends is being taken a step further by their sons. Both Aryan and Arjun are football players and take part in inter-school matches. So while the fathers are stuck on cricket, the sons are having a field day playing football. “Aryan is a huge fan of Sachin just the way Shah Rukh is,” says adman Prahlad Kakar, who like Kasbekar has worked on several ad films with the two. “They both come from relatively unknown backgrounds. In one of my ads, I made SRK wear a curly wig and he looked so much like Sachin. I think physically they look relatively alike too,” adds Prahlad.

The lovely and homely wives of these two superstars might admit there is much in common between Sachin and Shah Rukh... only the last similarity between the batting maestro and great actor is to do with their respective wives, Anjali and Gauri — both keep their private lives very guarded.