Agent Viru

first_imgA day before the grandaunt of all clashes at Mohali, Agent Viru and I discussed a matter of great national importance. With two hostile nations watching, this was too important a day to mess around with. So, in accordance with the National Security Act, we decided not to divulge any inside information and rather focus on the enemy camp. And given that I had helped Viru during an especially painful period in his career, when he found himself in the middle seat of an airplane with Ashish Nehra and Amit Mishra on either side, he put me in touch with Double Agent Akhtar, code named Double A. And within an hour, I found myself peacefully walking through the security cordon and into the Pakistan team hotel.I exited from the elevator on the fourth floor and walked down the corridor when I passed by a room with the door, probably accidentally, open. Inside, Misbah-ul-Haq was leaning over a copy of the National Geographic. My heart went out to the man, clearly the most cerebral player in the Pakistan team who, if fate had dealt a better hand, could so easily have been the Rahul Dravid of Pakistan cricket. Here he was, like our own Jammy, keeping his mind constructively occupied, I thought. A closer inspection, though, made me quickly change my opinion because what appeared to be Einstein Misbah reading about African tribes was actually just Misbah sketching underwear on natives’ pictures. Sorry, Rahul.I continued towards Room No. 420, where I was greeted by Double A, an 86 kg man-beast of pure muscle. Once I got over his imposing presence and the Manchester-meets-Rawalpindi twang, I realised that he was ranting about being overlooked after being the man solely responsible for getting Pakistan into the semi-finals. Double A claims that the kick he gave up Kamran Akmal’s backside at a team huddle had altered the wicket-keeper’s bio-mechanics, changing his style from that of a clapping toy monkey with drum cymbals for hands to that of a football goalkeeper. To Double A, this was as important to Pakistan’s World Cup campaign as the emergence of homo erectus to the evolution of humankind. “And what do they do? Fine me $2,000 for this service,” he said disconsolately. “Look at India and look at us. We have no team spirit,” Double A screamed. “I have announced my retirement and so far not one player has said that he wants to win the World Cup for me.”advertisementShahid Afridi had banned his players from watching Indian news channels for what he thought was negative coverage. In fact, he was conducting surprise raids on players’ rooms to check what channels they were watching. During one of the raids, he caught a bunch of misty eyed players glued to a Hindi news channel. Shockingly, Afridi too was hypnotically drawn to the programme on air titled Jung ke Jalwe Mein ek Maa ke Do Bete-Hindustan aur Pakistan.Double A told me that from the time they have landed in India, the team has been sending sos signals to Shoaib Malik. Several players, Afridi included, had been calling him daily, sometimes multiple times a day. While Double A had no clue, I guessed it must be because Malik was the captain when Pakistan had beaten India in Mohali in 2007. Late at night, I shared this piece of inside information with Agent Viru. “Isn’t Shoaib Malik married to Sania Mirza?” he asked. “Saaley sudhrenge nahin. They must be asking for tips on how to land Indian girls.”- The writer was formerly known as the Fake IPL Player. He will observe the 2011 World Cup through Agent Viru’s eyes.last_img

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