To what extent should a cricketer go to please his fans? Ask Kevin Pietersen. During his stint with the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), the flamboyant England batsman developed a rapport with Shreevats Goswami, who keeps wicket for Rajasthan Royals.
The Bengal wicket-keeper batsman interestingly took up another role - that of a Hindi teacher. And who better to don the role of a student than the South African-born Pietersen, who's established quite a fan following in the cricket-crazy nation during his IPL stints.
Pietersen recently tweeted in Hindi, and even expressed gratitude towards his guru Goswami. 'Mein mumbai mein ane ki liye bohut utsuk hoon, bohut khusi hogi apne indian dosto se milkar. (Thanks hindi teacher @shreevats1)' he tweeted.
Goswami was more than happy to oblige. "Kevin has a huge fan following in India and he always wanted to interact with them in Hindi. He shared the thought with me and I immediately agreed to teach him Hindi," Goswami said.
"Kevin is a quick learner. Apart from being a cricketing hero, he is also an excellent human being. All these qualities make him a perfect idol for youngsters." And what happens when Pietersen wants to frame something, despite being miles away from his teacher. "He texts me a phrase which is a mix of Hindi and English, and I happily do him a favour by sending him the entire Hindi translation. I hope one day he becomes fluent in Hindi," said Goswami.
Goswami considers himself lucky to rub shoulders with cricketing greats like Rahul Dravid and Jacques Kallis. "You can learn a lot from these guys. They not only teach you cricket, but also how to lead a good life."
Quite by chance, Goswami followed his RCB teammate Dravid to Rajasthan this season. And the youngster has flourished under his guidance.