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HindustanTimes Fri,28 Nov 2014

‘Cricket made me Viru’
Roshmila Bhattacharya, Hindustan Times
Mumbai, July 12, 2011
First Published: 13:53 IST(12/7/2011)
Last Updated: 16:35 IST(12/7/2011)
Virender Sehwag is fit and raring to join Team India in England. The swashbuckling all-rounder is the only batsmen in the world to score two triple centuries and take five wickets in an innings. He also holds the record for scoring the fastest 300 (off 200 balls), the fastest 250 (off 207 balls) and the fastest century in ODI (off 60 balls).And along with Sachin Tendulkar, is the only Indian to have smashed six Test double hundreds.

Ask Viru, as he is popularly know, if we will see a repeat soon and he smiles, “God willing!” The Nawab of Najafgarh once owned a vegetarian eatery at Delhi’s Fun Republic Cineplex that served a special dish priced at Rs. 309, Multan Ke Sultan Ki Tikdi, in memory of his triple century. Shewag’s eatery has since shut shop because “the response wasn’t good” and Viru is content to savour his mother’s ‘kadi’ and his wife Aarti’s ‘dal’ at home while he plans his cricket academy that will be opening soon in Haryana. “If the response to this academy is encouraging, we will open other branches, maybe one in Mumbai too,” says Viru, promising students the best in cricketing skills. “I’ll teach them how to hit sixes… And single, double and triple centuries.” Virender Sehwag

Meanwhile, even when away in England, Viru will be connected with friends and fans through voice and chat blogs. In a first of its kind endeavour, UTV Interactive, the digital arm of UTV, has joined hands with TechShot Digital to get around 10 ‘boys in blue’ chatting on everything from cricket to cinema.These services are available with various telecom operators and Viru is lovin’ the idea.

An enthusiastic model, he has just shot for a commercial but points out that he is a natural born actor and he quips, “No way, I’m a born cricketer, I don’t know the ABC of acting.” He admits that he’s been getting a lot of offers for TV reality shows but sighs over the lack of time: “We’re playing cricket six-seven months a year, what little time we have to spare, we like to spent with our family.”

A favourite time pass is watching movie. He caught Delhi Belly and found it “short and sharp”. He insists it was a 90-minute laugh riot and was not even scandalised by its four-letter peppered vocabulary. “You hear youngsters speaking like that everywhere,” he reasons. “Aamir Khan is Mr Perfect, he knows how to make a superhit movie.” Aamir is a favourite, along with Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan, Hrithik Roshan and Ajay Devgn

But top of the list is undoubtedly Amitabh Bachchan. “I’m looking forward to catching his Bbuddah Hoga Terra Baap. It brings back memories of so many of his jubilee hits. Sholay is No. 1.” And is he anything like Dharmendra’s Viru. He retorts, “It was cricket that made me Viru. Had it not been for cricket, I would have been just Virender or Sehwag all my life. It was my colleagues who gave me the nickname and fans followed up on it. I like being Viru which is why cricket will always be No. 1 in my list of priorities.”

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