At the wicket and behind the mike, Arun Lal always put his head down and played in the ‘V’, boring as it may have been. But at home, with his wife Debjani at the other end, he has played the most awe-inspiring reversesweep. The childless couple pulled their dhobi’s son from the pavement and wooed him to learn English in return for orange squash, and thus wrote an epic fairy tale that would have been impossible to believe if it weren’t so true. The boy, Bikash Chowdhury, now 39, went on to complete his B.Com, M.Com and MBA from IIM Calcutta, and is now a corporate honcho at Jindal Steel Works, having worked with Deutsche Bank and Credit Agricole. He has bought his other ‘parents’ a Mercedes Benz, helped them move from their apartment into a bungalow, and even named his daughter Arunima. As the cricketer battles the big C, this is an innings his peers and rivals should envy—and broadcast proudly.