Rohit Sharma
DRIVING THROUGH: India’s captain Rohit Sharma drives against Bangladesh in the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2023 match at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune on October 19, 2023. Sharma attracted more attention for his drive through the Mumbai-Pune Expressway on Tuesday, where he is reported to have breached the speed limits. Image Credit: ANI

What’s wrong with Rohit Sharma? Is he out of his mind? Speeding on an expressway at 215 kmph! That’s perhaps the dumbest thing to do.

It’s okay to race away in the powerplay, but that’s cricket. Looks like the Indian captain took his red-hot form in the Cricket World Cup to the Mumbai-Pune highway. How else do you explain the hair-raising ride?

An expressway is not a racetrack. Motorists can travel fast, but sense should prevail on how fast they can drive. There’s reason for speed limits on roads; they help drivers know how fast they can safely negotiate a particular stretch of road. As responsible motorists, everyone is expected to abide by it for the safety of drivers and other road users.

What Sharma did is to put his life in danger. Others too.

Rohit Sharma’s hair-raising ride on a Lamborghini

A cricket superstar in India is a celebrity at a stratospheric level. It’s easy to get carried away. Especially if they are not level-headed. And some are even tempted to think they are above the law. They are not.

Cricketers in India are among the affluent. Some are millionaires. Sharma must have thought that a few thousand rupees in fines are worth the adrenaline-addled drive. High-speed drives can be risky unless you are an expert. If you are one, hit the autodrome. Because roads are for regular people trying to get to one place from another. And Sharma was driving to the India-Bangladesh match at Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune.

According to the Pune Mirror, Sharma drove his Lamborghini Urus on Tuesday at speeds over 200 kmph at several stretches of the expressway and even touched 215 kmph. The speed limit is 100 kmph. Sharma was slapped with three tickets with fines topping 4,000 rupees, Indian media reports said.

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Sharma is no wide-eyed adolescent looking for thrills. He’s a 36-year-old captain of the Indian cricket team — the toughest job in the country after the prime minister. As a role model adored by millions, Sharma has to act responsibly. Just as his pull shots are emulated by aspiring players, some youngsters may floor the accelerator to replicate Sharma’s ride.

Fans on social media were worried about Sharma’s safety. Their concern is understandable since India are chasing their third World Cup win, and Sharma is an integral part of the team.

Not just that. The horrific car crash of Rishabh Pant is still fresh in our minds. The Indian wicketkeeper-batsman suffered severe injuries after his car crashed into a road divider in December 2022. He is still recovering from his injuries. What a loss for Indian cricket!

Maybe Pant should have a word with Sharma.