The autorickshaw driver who is more than happy to help you explore the charms and secrets of Srirangapatna
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OT: You have played all over the world. Have you ever been stumped (in a good way!) by the location of a cricket stadium?
Virendra Sehwag: Yes, at Dharamsala. It has the most beautiful setting. Cape Town comes a close second. These grounds have amazing views, and have absolutely fabulous facilities too — some of the best I have ever seen.
OT: Do you remember your first match abroad?
Virendra Sehwag: Of course. I was playing the Under-19 World Cup at the Bidvest Wanderers stadium in the beautiful South African city of Johannesburg. And I scored about 38 runs against the home team. I remember how after the match Kris Srikkanth said I batted like Viv Richards! But I guess the excitement of the tournament overshadowed the excitement of being in a new country.
OT: Did you travel much when you were growing up? Is there a family trip you remember fondly?
Virendra Sehwag: No. I never really stepped out of Delhi in my childhood. The only exceptions were the trips to our native village Chudani in Haryana’s Jhajjar district. We went there for summer vacations.
OT: And now, do you travel a lot in India (and not just for matches)? Any favourites?
Virendra Sehwag: I have pretty much covered the entire country. And I find Himachal really stunning. I’ve been to Dharamsala, Una, Chamba... Everything in the state is just so beautiful…the valleys, the rivers, the mountains.
OT: Where did you go for a holiday last?
Virendra Sehwag: We went to Dubai, and had a good time there. We shopped and had great fun trying out different cuisines.
OT: Are you a foodie?
Virendra Sehwag: Of course! I like many cuisines, but if my wife Aarti and I had to pick one, we’d pick Chinese. When I’m at home in Delhi, I also like to go to the Smoke House restaurants to have pasta and Trishna for coastal fare.
OT: Do you get a chance to read when you travel?
Virendra Sehwag: No, I am not a reader. In fact, I hardly read. But whenever I do, predictably, it is autobiographies or biographies by other sportspersons.
OT: What are the three things you always pack?
Virendra Sehwag: My mobile, some T-shirts and jeans, and my training and/or playing gear.
OT: Training gear? Even when you’re on a holiday?
Virendra Sehwag: Well, I have to stay fit. It’s my job.
OT: One place that’s on your immediate wishlist?
Virendra Sehwag: There are two, really. Srinagar and Pahalgam. I have never been to Kashmir. But I have heard a lot about these places. People say they are the most beautiful places in India, if not the world, so I’m looking forward to visiting them.
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