Akshay Kumar loves to talk in hyperbolic excess. "My name is Akshay Kumar Hari Om Bhatia, and I hail from Delhi's Paranthe Wali Gali in Chandni Chowk," he said, executing imaginary pulls, drives and cuts in a rhythm that matched his drawl. But when the setting and the occasion is such — it was the launch of Delhi Daredevils' website and official clothing — showboating and hyperbole have to rule the roost. And who better to pull off the "act" than Hari Om Bhatia, brand partner of GMR Sports — owners of the Delhi IPL franchise.
Emerging from the sudden darkness that descended upon the ritzy hall, Akshay, wearing a cricket helmet, was quick to take a trip down memory lane, reminiscing about his playing days at Lal Quila, before professing his loyalty towards his new "muse"— the Delhi Daredevils.
Perhaps it was fitting too that glamour transcended purpose as the four actual "Daredevils" who had turned up - Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Mohammed Asif and Shoaib Malik - especially the last three, appeared fidgety as Akshay and Sehwag held sway. It was an apt reflection on how IPL has ripped through the very fabric of cricket that a thing as basic as unveiling of the uniform and website commanded so much media presence, and compelled the organizers to create a set more suitable for a Bollywood flick than for cricketing purposes.
Hence it was no surprise that majority of the questions were thrown to Akshay and Sehwag as Gambhir, Asif, and Malik sat stone-faced by their side. In fact, it got to such a point that when a journalist finally put a question to Asif and Malik, it was Sehwag who was heaving a sigh of relief!