Bengaluru's very own Venkatesh Prasad, who wowed audiences as a member of the Indian men’s national team, says his new avatar, although temporary, was a lot of fun. Venky, as he is fondly known, tried his hand at VenkaBoys, a boy band along with fellow ex-cricketers Maninder Singh, Saba Karim and Javagal Srinath.
The former Men in Blue star in an ad video recently released by Cred, a credit card bill payment app, which earlier made Rahul Dravid 'Indiranagar ka Gunda'.
The video has been viewed over 34 lakh times on Cred’s YouTube channel. All dressed in white, the former international players give off a very Backstreet Boys vibe in the ad which has witty lyrics which acknowledge the passage of time. However, the OGs of the 1990s make sure you know that they still got their swag.
"If you are one of those Gen Z, you might not know me. Just go and ask your daddy!" goes one line, and reminds us that there was cricket even before T20: "Don’t forget us because of T20s," the song says, coz they are the 'OGs'.
Prasad says that he had no idea what the end result would look like, since everything was shot against a green screen, but reuniting with the old gang was fun. "It was a little bit like a reunion, talking cricket and the things that have changed in the game and so on. Even on screen too, we were talking and laughing and I was able to reinvent my cool side," says Prasad, adding that it was fun doing the shoot.
The video got quite a bit of attention from Netizans, including Indian batsman Rohit Sharma, who retweeted the video saying, "From listening to you coach me on the field, to now listening to you sing while I am on my way to the stadium. Venky bhai....it’s been a journey," he says.
Prasad says, as a coach, people know him very differently. "I was very, very focused as coach. I could not be chilled out as a coach, it was just off field (that I could be so). When I coached the Indian under-19, back in 2004-05, Rohit Sharma, Pujara, Ravinder Javeja were all part of the team," Prasad recalls.
On setting the record straight when a Twitter user called his dismissal of Aamer Sohail during the 1996 World Cup, Prasad shyly says, "It's not about a comeback but rather stating the facts to someone."
I was happy that I could inspire a lot of people. It was one of those events that you couldn’t write a script for. If you are playing in an international match, you have to own responsibility.
It does not matter if you are a newcomer or an experienced player. You are there to do a job to the best of your abilities Venkatesh Prasad, former India fast bowler