With no nets and matches during the lockdown, Vishesh Khanna, who’s been playing corporate cricket since he landed a job, started making clips of cricket tricks and posting them online. Soon, the 40-year-old Delhiite who’s now an assistant vice president with Genpact in Bengaluru, watched as the views on his candle flame trick using a table tennis bat and ball went from 50k to two lakhs to a million. The views are in millions and Vishesh’s follower count has risen from 600 to 20.2k now (at the time of going to press). 

Move over, bottle cap challenge!

The idea struck when he saw the bottle cap challenge. Instead of knocking the cap off with his foot, he decided to do it with a cricket bat and ball.

At an annual Corporate Olympics event with mixed doubles winner, (far left) Monika Reddy and Abhay Indu, men’s doubles winner

At an annual Corporate Olympics event with mixed doubles winner, (far left) Monika Reddy and Abhay Indu, men’s doubles winner

“Then I switched it for table tennis and candles replaced bottles,” says the cricket fan who’s been playing since he was eight years old in gullies and in Raja Park, then under AN Sharma, Virender Sehwag’s coach, and finally in Delhi University for Ram Lal Anand College (Evening). 

“[After my following grew], I got offers to do wine collaborations, but they offered a barter instead of money, and I don’t drink!”

It takes a village…

It took 52 takes before this video came out right. “And five to six broken candles. I had to aim a powerful shot at the wick so it gave a strong gust of wind,” he explains. Shooting a video is a family project. His older daughter, Samaira, 8, is usually the bowler. She had been in her school cricket team, but as the only girl there, she had to quit. “I’m hoping she’ll get back to it after helping me out with my videos,” says Vishesh. 

Shop talk

Meanwhile, he still needs to figure out how to monetise his Instagram reach. “I got offers to do wine collaborations, but they offered a barter instead of money and I don’t drink,” he laughs. 

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