Controversial Australian all-rounder Andrew Symonds was today unveiled as the latest contestant in the Indian television version of the hit reality show "Big Brother".
The 36-year-old big hitter, in and out of the national side due to disciplinary problems, will become the first international cricketer to enter the "Bigg Boss" house, the show's promoters said in an emailed statement.
Symonds, a household name in cricket-mad India through his involvement in the short-format Indian Premier League, said he saw the show as a challenge, although he admitted he had not seen any of the previous episodes.
"India has been good to me and I have been travelling to India for over 20 years... I am hoping to have a lot of fun inside the house and learn more about the Indian culture that I find very fascinating," he said.
"I am also looking at this as an opportunity to showcase the Australian culture which involves fun-filled activities like barbecues, throwing people into the pool and being completely at peace."
Symonds, dubbed the bad boy of Australian cricket for his drinking binges, was at the centre of a race row with India's Harbhajan Singh, whom he accused of calling him a "monkey" during the fractious second Test in Sydney in 2008.
The pair this year turned out for Mumbai Indians in the Twenty20 IPL and insist the much-publicised spat is behind them.
Previous overseas celebrities on "Bigg Boss" include the former "Baywatch" star Pamela Anderson and Jade Goody, who shot to fame in the British version of the show and was on the India format when she found she had terminal cancer.
One controversial guest this year is a Canadian porn star Sunny Leone, who has starred in films like "Not Charlie's Angels XXX" and "The Virginity Hit".