“Hpy Bday Sir Dennis Lillee.If Lilleeji were in film Gunda’ Naam hai mera Lillee,kar deta hoon batsman ki pant Gilee’
“What Gavaskar did without helmet,its difficult for ppl these days to do with all equipments.If cricket were a film,Sunil Gavaskar is Sholay”
“Happy Birthday @msdhoni .May you keep doing Anhoni ko Honi.#NationalHelicopterDay”
“A very happy birthday @KP24.When we used to play for Delhi,I always thought,This KP will send the ball to CP ??”
Each of these tweets from Twitter handle @virendersehwag carry a great level of originality about them. Some of them are filmy but all have a touch of earthy charm to them.
Virender Sehwag’s post retirement persona has been characterised by his wit and humour best encapsulated by 140 characters on Twitter. Not everything is necessarily intended to be read by the subject, even some of the birthday wishes.
But Sehwag knows the power of social media and what drives likes and followers. There is money to be made by commercial tweets and the offers come on the strength of his unmatched wit using the medium.
If Sehwag had been selected the coach of the Indian team he would have been the most costly appointment for the BCCI with the money he would have had to be compensated for his lengthy contract list. “Over 10 crores,” according to a BCCI source.
After completing his much publicized coach interview at the BCCI headquarters in Mumbai, Sehwag flew to Canada. He returned to Mumbai late in the night and got up at 4am next day to attend to his busy schedule.
By noon he was doing this interview with India Today on a TV series ‘Umeed India’ where he would anchor and interview Olympic athletes on their everyday battles. “I wanted to know how our athletes train, practice and prepare. I came to know many good and bad things. We easily say players go to Olympics for selfies. No one bothers about the hard work that goes behind,” he tells us.
We ask him about his image of being a social media star. “Many stories come from the dressing room that one doesn’t speak when you are playing but can do once retired. People have told me they enjoy and are inspired. These are no great skills of mine just some commentary I used to joke about in the dressing room which people have now begun to like,” he says causally.
On being asked if there is any tweet he would have avoided with the benefit of hindsight, he replied, “There is none.” On another day in a more candid mood he would perhaps acknowledge, the Gurmehar Kaur tweet was avoidable for which he later had to issue a clarification.
But is there a flip side in living the image of a commentator who can summon straight faced humour at will? Many had discounted his chances from the Indian cricket coach race because of this image. “I don’t bother about image. I write things that I like. I liked the show so I did this show. I write what I like I don’t bother what people think about it,” he asserts.
Next up on Sehwag’s day list is a press conference with the waiting media hoping to get a reaction on him not being appointed the Indian coach. They would be left disappointed. Once Sehwag makes up his mind to what he wants to answer and what not, it’s tough to break his defenses.
Source: India Today