I clearly remember that Multan Test match from 2004 when an unruffled Indian opener, playing on 295 against archrivals Pakistan, stepped out and smashed the ball over the deep mid-wicket fence to bring up the first ever triple hundred for the country. En route to achieving many such feats in his illustrious career, including two World Cup winners’ medals (one from the inaugural World T20), he went on to delight Indian cricket fans like this many a time again in the future.
As some of you would have guessed, that gentleman is known as Virender Sehwag.
Cut to today, and instead of setting examples for the generations to come (like he did during his playing days), he’s now doing everything but that. The most recent incident on his post-retirement CV comes in rather ironic fashion. The ‘Nawab of Najafgarh’ actually acted like one and reportedly sent in a two-line resume for the job of the head coach of the Indian Cricket Team.
(There is much to be talked about the manner that things have been leaked in public regarding the alleged feud between skipper Virat Kohli and the hugely successful coach Anil Kumble, but let’s leave that to another day.)
His application simply said that he is a ‘mentor and a coach of Kings XI Punjab in the Indian Premier League and has played with all these (Indian) boys before,’ according to a report in Tuesday’s Indian Express. “Sehwag being Sehwag has sent his application in two lines. There was no CV attached to it. We had to ask him to send his CV too along with his application. After all it will be the first time he is set to appear for the interview,” a BCCI source close to the daily casually remarked.
His fans might laugh it off as yet another installment in the series of ‘funny’ musings by the former batsman, but it sounds more like an I-don’t-give-a-fuck-I’ll-become-the-coach-come-what-may Twitter-sized statement. And why not, he’s been making all the right moves to please the powers that be.
Take the Gurmehar Kaur controversy for instance. In response to her anti-ABVP campaign, Sehwag tweeted a picture holding a placard that read “I didn’t score two triple centuries, my bat did,” alongside the tweet text of “Bat me hai Dum !#BharatJaisiJagahNahi”. Following the outrage over this clear case of bullying, he had to later clarify his comments, which according to him were not targeted at the 20-year-old student.
It has become a fashion to prove your nationalism in India by crushing any form of liberal debate and it’s a little surprising to see a magnanimous, larger-than-life person like Viru jump on this bandwagon. Thank god though that he’s not as aggressive as his fellow Delhi opener Gautam Gambhir and his stance in this debate.
Coming back to his social media adventures, his account, which initially started as a light-hearted behind-the-scenes take on the world of international cricket, has gradually turned into a timeline of unsightly words. The funny demeanour of the batsman who used to hum Bollywood songs while facing the fiercest bowlers in the world has cut a rather disappointing social media voice as the days wore by. And honestly, it is painful to witness it unfold and even to document it as an avid cricket enthusiast.
Back home in Jhajjar, Virender Sehwag runs an international cricket academy to train budding cricketers and support their education. It’s heartening to see the former cricketer take up this noble cause and it would be even better if the swashbuckling Indian great continues to carry out the rest of his business as modestly elsewhere too.
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