27 September, 2020

Holding On To His Chances

The Najafgarh boy just wants to get on with his game.

Pradeep Mandhani
Holding On To His Chances
It was a cloudy morning in Johannesburg last Wednesday, the day before the Indian cricket team was to leave for home. Virender Sehwag was in Mkrow, a one-stop shopping mall at Woodmead, a Johannesburg suburb, with two friends, looking for a watch which fitted his wrist, budget and taste. The 23-year-old hard-hitting batsman from Najafgarh, an industrial town just outside of Delhi, had already become a pawn in one of cricket’s nastiest civil wars. But he was trying hard to keep his mind off the snowballing confrontation between the ICC and BCCI—and the fact that he had become the ‘core issue’. "It’s been an impossible week," said a rather sheepish-looking Sehwag midway through a shopping binge. "Everytime you open a newspaper or log on to the Internet, you unfailingly see your name."

Early November, Sehwag had been on cloud nine, having scored a century on his Test debut against South Africa at Bloemfontein. He had been feted at home and abroad by fellow cricketers and the media. Now, caught albeit inadvertently in the middle of a row between egotistic...



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