An emotionally-charged Virender Sehwag went down memory lane when the Indian Cricket Board (BCCI) felicitated the batting great on his home ground at the Ferozeshah Kotla here on Thursday.
In the presence of his family – including his mother, wife and two sons – Sehwag, who announced his retirement from international cricket last month, was thrilled to receive a memento from BCCI Secretary Anurag Thakur at a special function held prior to the fourth and final Test between India and South Africa. Also in attendance were members of the two teams.
Sehwag thanked many people, including his coach A.N. Sharma, mentor Satish Sharma and under-19 coach and friend Raju Sahrma, for grooming him in his formative years.
“I want to thank my father for allowing me to play the game; he gave me freedom to do whatever I wanted to. I must thank all my coaches, especially A.N. Sharma, for making me the cricketer I am,” he said.
The 37-year-old thanked his first captain Ajay Jadeja and other skippers, Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid, Anil Kumble, under whom he played. He also thanked Sachin Tendulkar for his support. Minutes later, he uploaded some of his pictures of the ceremony on twitter.
While watching the match with his family in the stands, Sehwag, in a television interview, remembered his journey as a cricketer.
“From Najafgarh, where I lived those days, I used to take bus No. 783 from bus stop No. 817 to ITO to reach the Kotla. Then with the help of my friend, Dharmesh Gupta, I pooled money earned from under-19 cricket to buy a scooter.”
— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) >December 3, 2015
Sehwag said he always cherished his maiden Test hundred. “It is the most memorable moment because everyone said my batting style suited one-day cricket. So getting a Test century was important.”
As a special gesture to the great cricketer, the Justice Mudgal picked panel named the two ends of the Kotla after Sehwag’s two triple hundreds – Viru 319 End and Viru 309 End for this Test only.
On his triple tons, Sehwag said apart from his natural talent he enjoyed a lot of luck in getting those. “Perhaps I got those three hundreds because of my batting style. I also needed some luck as catches were dropped during both the knocks. A lot of talented players have played the game but talent could not be converted into performance.”
Sharing that his sons are keen to break his record of 319, Sehwag said, “I have kept a Ferrari as a gift if any of them goes past that score at any level of cricket.
“Before coming here, they asked me whether they would get to see the match. I said, ‘Don’t worry. You will see the match and get to meet the players also.’”
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