“Dad, throw the ball”, a three-years old Virat, swinging his bat, shouted out loud to his father. The echo of his steadfast voice made clear to his father that the game of cricket will shape Virat's destiny. From that day onwards, the only dream of little Virat was to play cricket for the Indian team, and his fervour for cricket got nurtured by his father to the extent that cricket became the only goal of his life. And, that's how the legend was born!
Virat Kohli's undying passion for cricket caught the attention of the well-acclaimed sports journalist- Vijay Lokapally. The ruling sports stars have always inspired Vijay Lokapally to pen down their adventurous streak in the pages of his book. There exists no person, who is a sports lover and have not read a single article by Vijay Lokapally. He is working with 'The Hindu' over three decades and is a well-known personality not only in India but in abroad as well.
'Driven- The Virat Kohli Story' written by Vijay Lokapally, is the book of Virat Kohli, communicating to the world his journey from Virat Kohli to 'The Virat Kohli'! In the excerpt of this book, he has bewitchingly described Virat Kohli's success as - “What makes Virat Kohli the undisputed monarch of the cricket world today is not his iconic status in the sports hierarchy but that the highest praise comes from the opposition camp and past greats.” The sole line from excerpt is suffice to leave its readers with goosebumps.
1. This is your second book on the biography of a cricketer. The first one was on Virender Sehwag. Why does cricket as a sport fascinate you?
Vijay Lokapally: Not just me. Cricket is a rage with a majority of the sports loving fans in India. It is a team game where individual performances also get a huge share of attention and accolades. I like the contest between the bat and ball because there is plenty of intrigue involved.
2. What is the most vital change you witnessed in yourself when writing the books?
Vijay Lokapally: I discovered the hard work that an icon puts in to reach the exalted stage. I also realized that cricket is not the end of the world. There is cricket. And there is life.
3. What do you think is the most interesting thing about Virat Kohli that made you write about him?
Author: Vijay Lokapally
Vijay Lokapally: His passion. That is what drives him to scale new heights. The book has an apt title. It really portrays the true Virat.
4. How has your journey been from the acknowledgement of the book to the excerpt on the back cover? What was the most memorable thing you experienced while writing this book?
Vijay Lokapally: To tell you the truth, it was an extension of the journalistic work. I have tried my best to present Virat and his cricket honestly. The excerpt on the back cover and quotes from some of the greats of the game, not to forget the foreword, is the reward I have earned from my association with this great game.
5. Most sports are underrated in comparison to cricket in India, even though there are great sports persons like PV Sindhu, Leander Paes, Dipa Karmakar, Pullela Gopichand and so on who have set numerous records. If given a chance, which sports person other than a cricketer would you like to write about?
Vijay Lokapally: Dipa Karmakar. Because without much facilities she, along with her coach Bishweshwar Nandi, has done something unbelievable in a highly competitive field.
6. One word that you would like to use to metaphorise 'Cheeku' of India?
Vijay Lokapally: A brave warrior.
7. You have been involved in the sports and broadly known for your articles on cricket for over three decades. What piece of advice would you like to share with the youth of our nation who wish to enter the world of cricket?
Vijay Lokapally: The game is changing and has become more competitive. One has to rise to newer challenges while sticking to the basics of hard work and dedication.
Interview taken by Nidhi Bohra.
Nidhi Bohra is a Content Writer working with Infibeam. She is
fun-loving, pet lover and a massive Bibliophile. Love Stories fascinate
her and Horrors excite her. She is a firm believer of “Everything-happens-for-a-reason” notion and manages to find humour in every situation.