Ashwin is a weird guy. I have watched him on the field, listened to his press conferences, read his interviews, and scrolled through his Twitter. Everything points to him being a little.. peculiar. He seems aloof and a little too into himself. Admittedly, he is on his way to break pretty much every bowling record in Indian cricket, not too mention his underrated batting.
Ashwin hummed around in the public consciousness as an oddball, but people didn’t think too much of it. Professional sportsmen tend to be off-kilter. He’s also an engineer by education, a species known to socially exasperate on occasion.
The phenomenon of Ashwin on the internet really picked up after his bizarre exchange with Herschelle Gibbs. Ashwin tweeted in promotion of a new running shoe, to which the South African taunted the famously clumsy off spinner by tweeting “Hopefully you will be able to run a bit faster now ashwin,’
Ashwin did not like this. He responded, ” “…I wasn’t as blessed as you were. But I was blessed with a wonderfully ethical mind not to fix games which put food on my plate.” The match-fixing jibe was quickly picked up on, and Ashwin was lambasted and mocked by the cricketing world over for his humorless attitude.
I can’t remember exactly why I did it in the first place, but I Googled Ashwin. I suppose it’s not too unusual a thing- I do write about sports everyday. But nothing could have prepared me for what awaited.
This is what the home page was. Ashwin the Entrepreneur looks like he is about to extol the virtues of the Byju app. Ashwin the Influencer looks like a final villain in a future Avatar spin-off.
Clicking these links was just the beginning of the rabbit hole. Each section began with an indicative quote. “Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the only thing,” is the selected quote for the influencer page. The actual copy is where the real fun begins. Cutting across age groups, Ashwin appeals and inspires starting from the to the common man to a fellow sportsman through his conduct, righteousness, ethical values. What?
The real, real gold comes in when you go to his gallery section, and then click on ‘off the field.’ What lies beyond is an incredible, baffling collection of pictures of Ashwin. We couldn’t resist turning them into memes. Here is what we came up with: