Indian cricket March 21, 2009

Left a loan on the highway

The recession spares no one

The recession spares no one. That’s what three of India’s rising young players learnt ... the hard way.

On Wednesday evening, Saurashtra batsman Cheteshwar Pujara, Mumbai spinner Iqbal Abdulla and Gujarat batsman Bhavik Thaker were going to the airport after their West Zone team won the Deodhar Trophy tournament. But euphoria soon turned to fear as their car was blocked and stopped by two men on a motorcycle on the Cuttack-Bhubaneshwar highway. One of the men got into the car and started driving while the players were still in the car. The players feared the worst, but the situation turned out to be slightly different.

Pressed for answers, the men said they were recovery agents repossessing the car because the owner had turned defaulter. Sensing a glimmer of hope, the players hastily explained that they had nothing to do with the owner of the vehicle, and were in fact unsuspecting cricketers caught in a mess that wasn’t of their making. Following a 15-minute discussion, the men finally relented and dropped the players, with bag and baggage, on the highway. Another car was summoned from the Orissa Cricket Association and the players reached the airport, without further incident.

Th end result? A blacklisted travel agent and a dose of ‘economic’ reality for three young Indian aspirants.