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Starstruck: Virender Sehwag made cricket jokes cool before us — Vikram Sathaye

Vikram Sathaye fans over his close friend, Virender Sehwag, who he says is as entertaining off the field as he is on it!

Vikram Sathaye with Virender Sehwag

Vikram Sathaye with Virender Sehwag in the season finale of What The Duck 2 (Source: Viu)


Vikram Sathaye

Updated: 14 Nov 2021 10:33 AM GMT

I call him a really close friend - straight out of the pages of old school Bollywood reliability that his namesake - Veeru displayed in one magnum opus, Sholay. On the field, Virender 'Viru' Sehwag would blast shots and shock people, standing his ground firmly - a fine blend of erratic and dependable. Off the field, he wouldn't mince his words either and that was enough for me to come to certain epiphanies.

Since the time I started touring, I knew with Viru, what you see is what you get. He was always a funny guy with quirky one-liners even when he was playing cricket.

I would wait to see him on tours as I knew post every conversation my laughter dose for the week would be sorted - he sure knew how to tickle the right bones.

In Sri Lanka, when Ravi Shastri asked him about the bounce of the pitch and how he negotiated that, he said,

"Sir ball balle pe aa rahee thi, maine maar di, baki kuch nahi pata." (Sir, the ball was coming on the bat, I simply struck it, I don't know the rest.)

The humour was subtle but kept at point-blank, classic old Viru. We laughed so much after the post-match interview.

"My cricket is over, now I want to be an entertainer" – Virender Sehwag

Virender Sehwag (Source: ICC Cricket)

When he retired we sat down one day and he said, "Sathaye saab, now I am not a cricketer, woh history hain. I want to be in comedy and entertainment now, chalo kuch karte hain".

Just like his batting, his mind was very clear even on this front. He was ready to knock on new doors, no iota of doubts in his mind.

Me, my friend Ankur Tewari ( Musician and Director ), Sunandan Lele, Amritanshu all sat down & created his first social media property "Viru Ke Funde" sitting in his Delhi house years back.

We knew that Viru could take cricketing examples and correlate them to life therefore we decided to make a concept around it. To simply put it, we were late to the party, Viru had already started and it was obviously a super hit.

Rest as they say is history!

Viru transformed himself and today is the highest paid in the business as an entertainer.

To me, Viru always meant someone who found his own path and backed himself to achieve it, rock-solid with his determination and grit.

A lesson maybe for leaders, isn't it?

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