Bengaluru: Spin ace Ravichandran Ashwin's sense of humour is unmatched and he tonight won a lot of hearts with a moving speech in which he even made up for a faux pas by former India keeper Farokh Engineer.
Just when Ashwin had finished his acceptance speech at the BCCI Awards 2017, Engineer asked him, "What's there in Karnataka water that produces great spinners like Chandra (BS Chadrasekhar), Prasanna and you?"
At his wittiest best, Ashwin, who comes from Tamil Nadu, brought the house down.
"Not to bring politics in it but we had some Cauvery water recently in Tamil Nadu! I think it should be that," Ashwin not only covered it nicely but had everyone bursting out in laughter.
He also termed Engineer's speech as the most romantic he's ever heard.
"I have been fortunate enough to be a part of five MAK Pataudi Lectures. We have had Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman and our coach Anil Kumble give speeches but none as romantic as the one Mr Engineer delivered today. It's so romantic that it's hissing around this stage. I think every Indian cricketer should learn about Indian cricket. Thank you for entertaining us," Ashwin said.
As he spoke, Ashwin touched a lot of hearts and one could gauge the appreciation in the eyes of legends like Bishan Singh Bedi and Erapalli Prasanna.
In his inimitable way, he paid a tribute to Bedi and Prasanna.
"I just heard numbers (wickets) of Mr Bedi and Mr Prasanna and I will have to add my gully cricket wickets, if I have to get near them! They are insane numbers. I don't think I will ever be able to get near them. Stories of Mr Prasanna, getting a rope to dip the ball to batsman are part of Indian cricket's folklore and I am happy to carry forward the tradition."
On being conferred with the Dilip Sardesai award for his best performance against the West Indies, Ashwin spoke about what captain Virat Kohli had told him once.
"Virat said one thing before 'if this team can achieve something special, we can create great memories'. We prepared a charter here. When we embarked on our journey, everyone was happy, we created more memories than playing great cricket there. My love affair with West Indies, I just think, sometimes when you know you have done well against a team, the edges also don't carry to the fielder."