-Aishwarya Rebelly, Correspondent, The Daily Bitsian
Birmingham: On 4th June 2017, while the nation was glued to their television screens, wishing they could be in London for the iconic cricket match between fierce rivals India and Pakistan for the start of the prestigious Champions’ Trophy, one man was already in London, unable to come back. Billionaire founder of United Breweries Limited, Kingfisher Airlines and a myriad of other companies, Vijay Mallya is currently on the run from the Indian Government on account of two court cases and a non-bailable arrest warrant against him. With Kingfisher Airlines at an outstanding Rs 9000 crore in debt, Mallya fled the country in March 2016 when he was booked for mismanagement of funds.
However, Mallya’s refugee status in London seems to have only strengthened his love for his country. A source close to Mr. Mallya stated that soon after the match began, “He cracked open a cold one and started humming A.R. Rahman’s Maa Tujhe Salaam under his breath”. When interviewed after the match Mallya assured the media and our readers at home that he would always be there to cheer for Team India and that he speaks for the whole of the NRI community when he says that he would never let something as simple as not being in the country come in the way of his intense nationalism.
The next day, on the 5th of June, Virat Kohli hosted a charity fundraiser to raise money for underprivileged children. Pulling another surprise appearance was none other than international criminal, Vijay Mallya. Sources say that the task of inviting the guests was outsourced and hence Kohli had no prior knowledge of Mallya’s imminent arrival. Kohli made efforts to avoid the former Royal Challengers Bangalore owner, because apparently, “After a few drinks Mallya started going berserk.” He reportedly asked the cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar what a bug’s favourite sport was, and seemed very disappointed when he only received a stare. After an overall uncomfortable ordeal and a bombardment of pun based humour the Team chose to leave early to dissuade any further association with Mallya.
Mallya however, was true to his word, not letting such petty things as the team not wanting him there to stop him from showing up at the Oval Cricket ground on the 11th of June for the India vs South Africa quarter-finals match. While there, he was welcomed with a walk of shame-like chant by the other spectators passionately shouting “Chor Chor Chor”. This however,did not deter the man from turning up on 18th June for the finals match between India and Pakistan. A source close to Virat Kohli says that Mallya attempted to enter the dressing room, creating a security incident, possibly leading to the eventual breakdown of the batting order.
With CBI failing to provide evidence to the courts of UK in order to facilitate Mallya’s extradition to India, it’s likely that he will have many more opportunities to prove his love for his nation on an international platform.
Cover Designed By Apurva Chinta
Edited By Adarsh Salagame
Article Written By Aishwarya Rebelly