Monday, Oct 03, 2022
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Friendship Among Sportspersons

Friendship Day: Rivals In The Playing Field, Strong Bonds Outside It

Friendships that trumped on-field rivalry, partnerships that brought the best of each other. Heart-warming stories from the field of sports.

Dostana: Saurav Ganguly and Sachin Tendulkar Photo: Getty Images

Amitabh Bachchan and Dharmendra got onto a motorcycle and sang an ode to friendship in Sholay. Virender Sehwag and Ashish Nehra did it in real life. As two Delhi youngsters playing their way up through domestic cricket in the late ’90s, Sehwag and Nehra would ride to Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium on Sehwag’s two-wheeler. During the journey, Nehra, not a morning person, would grab a snooze by resting his head on his buddy’s large kit bag. “Viru stayed in Najafgarh, while I lived in Delhi Cant (cantonment), so he would pick me up,” the toothy-grinned former India fast bowler and Gujarat Titans coach once said on Breakfast With Champions, a YouTube show hosted by sports presenter Gaurav Kapur. “While going to the ground, he would ride and I would sleep. On the way back, I would ride, he would sleep.”

In today’s complex world, a range of factors have affected friendships. Beyond a point, it’s each man for himself. Friendships are secondary to priorities—career, growth, family and useful networks. This is seen as a grown-up, honest way of being, rather than hanging on to sentimental chhodenge dum magar, tera saath na chhodenge notions. Besides, people are more immersed in their online lives. And our stand on politics and sensitive issues affects our friendships more than it used to.

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