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“Namak kam tha ya mirchi zyada?”: An umpire, Sachin Tendulkar’s childhood friend, was once hilariously threatened by Virender Sehwag in Ranji Trophy

Gurpreet Singh

"Namak kam tha ya mirchi zyada?": An umpire, Sachin Tendulkar's childhood friend, was once hilariously threatened by Virender Sehwag in Ranji Trophy

Apart from being the carefree batter that he was, Virender Sehwag’s style of aggressive batting would have arguably been quite a hit in modern day era of T20 franchise Cricket.

He did play for different franchises across eight IPL editions and three Champions League T20 matches as well, and fared decently well overall, but the world did miss the peak Sehwag of the great old days of his career when bowlers dreaded him till the time he occupied the crease.

ALSO READ: When Sachin Tendulkar’s coach Ramakant Achrekar would place a bet with bowlers to get him out bowled in the nets

The other side of Sehwag’s personality and demeanor; the one akin no other Indian Cricketer was the witty side of him, which has been acknowledged by several of his Indian teammates in the past.

One of such humorous incidents on the field happened during a Ranji Trophy match, which also involved the legendary Sachin Tendulkar’s childhood friend.

Sachin Tendulkar’s childhood friend was once hilariously threatened by Virender Sehwag

It all began two days before a Ranji Trophy match between Delhi and Punjab at Delhi’s Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium, which was to feature prominent Indian cricketers in Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Ashish Nehra, Yuvraj Singh, and Harbhajan Singh.

Marcus Cuoto, a former BCCI panel umpire and one of Sachin Tendulkar’s childhood friend, who was arguably the first man to break the news of the famous partnership between Sachin and Vinod Kambli comprising 664 runs in the Harris Shield tournament in February 1988, had to fulfill the umpiring duties in the aforementioned match featuring Punjab and Delhi.

Sehwag had greeted Cuoto after one of the practice sessions, and the latter informed him about his plan to open a Cricket school like his, back then in Bombay. Taking note of his plan, Sehwag invited him to visit his school in Haryana’s Jhajjar district.

Sehwag scares Marcus Cuoto after getting Out caught behind

While Cuoto arrived in Jhajjar to take a view of Sehwag’s school the next morning, he came back the very evening, in order to officiate the Ranji Trophy match the next day.

During the match, with Delhi batting first, Cuoto adjudged Sehwag Out caught behind off a clear outside edge of his bat.

ALSO READSourav Ganguly was once terrified of Sachin Tendulkar’s sleepwalking habit

Upon waiting for a few moments, Sehwag came running towards him and remarked, “Sir kal kya tha khane mein, namak kam tha ya mirchi jyada?” (Sir, what was in your food yesterday, was it a less of salt or a lot of chillies?)

A nervous, but confident Cuoto replied, “Viru, public ko lagega ki hum ne galat decision diya aur pitwowge”(Viru, the crowd will think that I’ve given a wrong decision and will get hammered by them).

The so-called seriousness on Sehwag’s face disappeared with the reply, and the latter quickly hugged Cuoto to indicate that his decision wasn’t wrong and he was just playing around with him.

About the author

Gurpreet Singh

Gurpreet Singh


Gurpreet Singh is a Cricket writer at The Sportsrush. His platonic relationship with sports had always been there since childhood, but Cricket managed to strike a special, intimate nerve of his heart. Although his initial dream of playing the sport at the highest level couldn't come to fruition, Gurpreet did represent the state of Jharkhand at the under-14 level. However, almost like taking a pledge to never let the undying passion for Cricket fade away even a tad, he made sure to continue the love relationship by assigning the field of journalism as an indirect Cupid. He thus, first finished his bachelor's in journalism and then pursued the PG Diploma course in English journalism from the Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC). Soon after and since 2019, he has been working at The Sportsrush. Apart from sports, he takes keen interest in politics, and in understanding women and gender-related issues.

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