Former cricketer Venkatesh Prasad and his son Prithvi who were in the city spoke about how cricket influences youngsters, apart from parents

We know how Venkatesh Prasad bowls, and now we also know how he shaves. The things we witness as journalists! Not that we were prying! At the Gillette Because You Are A Role Model event in the city, the former cricketer and his son took the stage (armed with a razor each), sharing stories about father-son bonding, inspiration, what it takes to be a role model; and the young Prithvi also attempted his first ever shave, with his dad joining him for company.

A recent survey by Gillette conducted by Nielsen for their Role Model Behaviour initiative titled Men of Inner Steel states that while fathers might be role models, for most kids, cricketers are the next role models. The study also says that 71 per cent of dads in Chennai believe cricketers are role models for their sons, 70 per cent believe that their sons replicate the behaviour of their favourite cricketers while playing cricket and 78 per cent don’t like cricketers sledging because their kid is watching the game with them. “There is a lot of hype around the game. Players are under pressure. They tend to lose control of their emotions. It’s fine if it happens in the heat of the moment and if they don’t cross the limit,” says Prasad, whose role model was Kapil Dev. For young Prithvi, who also plays cricket, his models are, of course, his father and Ricky Ponting. “My father is a lot of fun. I have learnt to keep calm from him. I have huge shoes to fill,” he says. Since Prasad spent a little over a decade playing cricket for the national side, there were long periods where he went without spending time with his family. "My son was born when I was touring the West Indies. By the time I went back home he was 15 days old," he says. Time off work was spent holidaying with the family. The bonding sessions also included playing cricket, watching sports on television, playing cards. "I used to enjoy irritating him," laughs Prithvi, who started playing cricket in the driveway of their house, facing deliveries from his father. How challenging were they? We could ask Amir Sohail that. Says Prithvi, "I would watch my dad in awe. Now I guess I can compete with him. To be a role model you’ve got to be passionate and have the heart of a lion...and my dad’s got it all."