Straight drive: Cricketers take the online field with aplomb!
Numerous cricketers are using their social media handles to reveal a side of them, otherwise unknown to their fansUpdated: Apr 27, 2020 22:48 IST
By now, it’s a known fact that Bollywood stars – during the ongoing Coronavirus lockdown – have gone online in a big way to keep their fans entertained. But interestingly, with no cricket in sight, a number of cricketers have also taken to social media portals to be in touch with the world. So, if Yuzvendra Chahal is actively entertaining on TikTok, others regularly resort to Instagram live to have an in-depth conversation with each other.
And the list includes several cricketers’ chats such as Virat Kohli with (former England batsman) Kevin Pietersen, AB de Villiers (South African cricketer); Rohit Sharma with Yuvraj Singh, Jaspreet Bumrah, Harbhajan Singh, Yuzvendra; Mohammed Shami with Irfan Pathan, KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal and many others. Interestingly, Shikhar Dhawan – besides his Instagram live chats – has been coming up with several interesting Instagram videos featuring him with his son as well as wife.
What’s interesting is that besides cricket, such conversations also include many other facets of their life including personal life space, which is usually a strict no-no in normal times. So, be it Virat talking about wife Anushka Sharma being “the pillar of strength” for him; or Rohit saying that his aim is that Indian team should be able to win at least two World Cups out of three that are coming up, cricketers seems to be speaking their mind during such chats.
Experts and fans, on their part, say they “love seeing the new side” of their heroes. “It’s great to see such champions talk to each other, and open their hearts out openly on live chats. I personally loved Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal’s conversation a lot. For the content people, it’s pure gold dust. Where else would you see them interacting at such length?” says ex-India cricketer and commentator, Aakash Chopra.
For others, it’s “great to witness an unseen facet” of cricketers’ personality. “Since they have – like everyone else – all the free time in the world, it’s fantastic to see our heroes indulge in such great conversations for their fans,” says exhibitor-distributor and self-confessed cricket fanatic, Akshaye Rathi. At the same time, Chopra is not sure “for how long” such chats/online activities will persist “if there’s no game in the next six months.” “Maybe, some amount of boredom will creep in. But right now, it’s a novel unique idea, which is great,” he concludes.
Virat on Anushka:
‘[For] any kind of motivation and support, we both are there [for each other].’
Yuvraj on the current team:
‘There are very fewer guys [in Indian cricket team] to look up to [now].’
Rohit on Rishabh Pant:
‘He is just 20-21, he was under so much of scrutiny that he got tensed.’
A 26-year-old Mumbai-based cricket fan, Nihit Desai loves watching “such live chats because he gets to see “cricketers talking about so many things, other than cricket.” “Usually, they hardly do many interviews and whenever they do, the talks revolve mostly around cricket. So, it’s a nice, fresh change for us too,” he says.
For Delhi-based Garima Nagpal, 23, what’s “most endearing” about such chats is to see “cricketers being fully-committed family guys too.” “Otherwise, we never get to see Rohit Sharma playing with his daughter or Shikhar Dhawan having fun with son. It’s very nice to see them in such avatars,” she says.