To coincide with the ascension of its patron to the number one ranked test batsman in the ICC rankings, the Sehwag School of Batting based in Viru's home city of Delhi has announced the first graduates from its initial intake of students, as well as details of honorary degrees awarded to four already established batsmen.
The press release stated that the school had been created to further the style, panache and all out attacking bravado of its patron so that similar daredevil batsmen become more prevalent throughout the cricket world.
The statement named criteria on which degrees will be awarded both on a postgraduate and honorary level. These are:
Graduates must be opening batsmen; preferably (but not essentially) ones that started their careers lower down the order.
Degrees will only be awarded to batsmen who demonstrate an all out attack mode in all formats of the game, irrespective of whether wickets are falling around them.
Good stats and high strike rates need to be combined i.e. Mohammad Ashraful has been a student now for over five years but still shows no sign of actually graduating.
Finally, graduates have to have one additional special quality about them just like the religious like fervour attracted by Sehwag.
So without further ado, the first two graduates from the school are:
Tillakaratne Dilshan - Dilshan came to the school as a mature student struggling in the Sri Lankan middle order. He left it as the closest mortal there is in the world to Sehwag. Whether it is tests, ODIs or T20 it doesn't matter to Dilshan as in his new role as an opener he blasts the ball to all corners of the ground with alarming regularity. And his party piece the Dilscoop ensured that he completed his degree in record time.
Tamim Iqbal - Tamim passed his final exam only yesterday as he blasted away at England despite wickets falling regularly at the other end. The examiners particularly liked the way he tries to hit the ball as hard as he can at almost every opportunity. Despite his stats not quite being good enough, allowances were made for the fact that he plays for Bangladesh, and Sehwag casted the deciding vote for Tamim after his 151 against India in January.
Honorary degrees were awarded to four recent opening batsmen who Sehwag has played against and who he considers meet his batting mantra.
Chris Gayle - Not only a big-hitter but also the coolest man in cricket, Gayle received unanimous support from the Awards Committee, who noted that his patient century in Adelaide before Christmas nearly cost him an honorary degree as it was considered too circumspect. However, the fact that he made up for it in the next test at Perth sealed it. The committee particularly liked Gayle's dismissiveness of Nathan Hauritz - a player that Sehwag himself can not wait to face.
Sanath Jayasuriya - The granddaddy of brutal opening batsmen was also a shoo-in for an honorary award. Indeed, Sehwag himself suggested that if it hadn't been for Sanath he may have never been asked to open. Jayasuriya is the man who ripped up the template of what an opening batsman should be and consigned the likes of Boycott to the antiquated history books.
Matthew Hayden - Bullies do prosper sometimes and Hayden was certainly one of those. The barrel chested opener was probably the main driver behind Australia being able to score consistently at over four runs per over in test cricket and provided the inspiration for Sehwag to take that even higher as he did recently against Sri Lanka and South Africa.
Marcus Trescothick - The man who introduced Sehwag to the delights of English sausages used to tuck in regularly to bowlers in both tests and ODIs. Special mention was made as to how the quick starts that Banger gave England in the infamous 2005 Ashes series were one of the main reasons behind their eventual triumph.