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Record was not on mind, says Mumbai schoolboy Shaw after hitting 546

Last updated on: November 21, 2013 13:01 IST

Record was not on mind, says Mumbai schoolboy Shaw after hitting 546

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Fourteen-year-old Prithvi Shaw tells Harish Kotian he was not aware of the new record in Mumbai schools cricket even after breaching the 500-run mark.

Cricket fans may be saddened that Sachin Tendulkar has quit the game, but there's nothing to worry about. A new breed of young Mumbai cricketers is ready to take on the world.

Following the exploits of run-machines Sarfaraz Khan and Armaan Jaffer, there's a new star in the making in Prithvi Shaw.

The 14-year-old gave evidence of his rich potential by scoring 546 for Rizvi Springfield in the first round of the Mumbai School Sports Association’s Harris Shield Elite Division match against St. Francis D'Assisi, Borivali, at the Baronet CC pitch, Azad Maidan, in Mumbai, on Wednesday.

The youngster is the only batsman to breach the 500-run mark in the Under-16 schools tournament. In the process, he went past both Sarfaraz and Armaan, who had also hit quadruple centuries in the Harris Shield.

In fact, it was the same tournament that put the great Tendulkar (326 not out), at the age of 14, in the limelight, after he and 16-year-old Vinod Kambli (349 not out), playing for Shardashram Vidyamandir, were involved in a World record partnership of 664 runs in February 1988, in the semi-finals against St Xavier's.


Image: Prithvi Shaw
Photographs: Hitesh Harisinghani/Rediff.com

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'I didn't know what my score was when I was batting on 490'

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But the right-hander had no idea of his record-breaking feat till his team mates actually shouted from the players' tent.

"I didn't know what my score was when I was batting on 490. I had told my team mates not to tell me my score because I was going well and wanted to continue batting the way I was. I only knew about the feat when everybody shouted and cheered. That is when I knew I had crossed 500," revealed an excited Shaw, at the end of the second day's play in the match.

Shaw, who hammered 207 runs in the morning session on Day 2, said he played his natural game and each shot according to the merit of the delivery.

"I didn't have any plans. My coaches told me to concentrate on batting for long in the middle, so I was playing the singles and twos and waiting for the loose deliveries. They [St Francis] bowled some loose deliveries and I was able to score boundaries. They also dropped a few catches, but it was not easy to take them because they had to dive for them," he said.


Image: Prithvi Shaw celebrates with Rizvi Springfield team mates after the end of day's play
Photographs: Hitesh Harisinghani/Rediff.com

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'I managed myself by being patient and making most of the loose deliveries'

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Shaw is also one of the youngest to hit a hundred in Mumbai's inter-club Kanga Cricket League tournament, scoring 109 for Parel Sporting last week.

"I was happy to score a hundred in the Kanga League A division. It was not easy to play in that division, but I managed myself by being patient and making most of the loose deliveries.

"Before that match I was scoring 30s and 40s and getting out, so I wanted to play a big innings. My dad [Pankaj] and my coaches told me to be patient and spend time at the wicket and just wait for the loose balls," he added.


Image: Prithvi Shaw
Photographs: Hitesh Harisinghani/Rediff.com

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Cricket has been Shaw's focus since he decided to take up the sport at a young age

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As if the marathon knock was not enough, the news of Shaw's record-breaking feat attracted a huge number of media personnel to the Azad Maidan and till late in the evening he was busy giving interviews.

Indeed, cricket has been Shaw's focus since he decided to take up the sport at a young age.

"I get up at seven in the morning to go to school and come back by 3.30 in the afternoon. Then I have a coaching camp at MIG, after which I go for my tuition class at eight o'clock. After that I come home, eat and sleep. This routine continues every day," he said.


Image: Prithvi Shaw poses for the camera after his record breaking knock
Photographs: Hitesh Harisinghani/Rediff.com

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'When he was around four I felt that he had something in him to take up cricket'

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His father, Pankaj, had to give up a garment business to make sure he could spare time to nurture his child's dream. Since his mother passed away when he was just four, Pankaj had to perform the dual role of a father and mother so that Prithvi got all the love and care at home.

"When he was around four I felt that he had something in him to take up cricket. Even my friends who saw him bat told me that his technique looks good and he can be a good batsman. Despite not having played cricket before, I felt my son was good even at a young age and decided to enroll him for coaching," he said.

Pankaj revealed that initially it was difficult, as the father-son duo had to travel nearly 70 kms daily on the crowded local trains from their home in Virar, the extreme end of north Mumbai, to Shivaji Park in Central Mumbai. But help poured in from all quarters once Shaw started making a name for himself in junior cricket.

"It was not easy at the start; we spent nearly five to six years travelling from Virar to Shivaji Park daily in crowded trains. Prithvi used to wake up at 4.30 in the morning, and by the time we returned home after his school, training and tuitions, it would be around nine at night, and he only got time to sleep," he said.


Image: Prithvi Shaw (left) with his father Pankaj
Photographs: Hitesh Harisinghani/Rediff.com

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'When he was around four I felt that he had something in him to take up cricket'

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Rizvi Education Society came forward and provided the father-son accommodation initially, before a local corporator gave them a permanent residence in Santacruz so that their travel time was reduced.

Rizvi Springfield school trustee Javed Rizvi says they have made a security bond of Rs 100,000 in Prithvi's name which will help take care of some of his needs.

"We have announced that we will give him Rs One lakh for his record-breaking innings and will be bearing the expense of his kit. His education is also being taken care of by Rizvi. We have also told him that he can pursue further studies at Rizvi College free of cost, and if he needs anything else we at Rizvi are always there for him. We just want him to focus on cricket and work hard on it," said Rizvi.

Shaw is another bright chapter in Rizvi's golden run in Mumbai's Inter-school cricket.

"Cricket is a culture in Rizvi and we have won the Harris Shield for the last five years. Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Wasim Jaffer and Paras Mhambrey have all represented Rizvi and gone on to play for India. And nearly half of the current Mumbai Ranji Trophy squad is from Rizvi," he added.


Image: Prithvi Shaw with his Rizvi Springfield team mates, Rizvi Springfield school trustee Javed Rizvi and coach Raju Pathak
Photographs: Hitesh Harisinghani/Rediff.com

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'It is a very big thing to score 500 in any level of cricket that you play'

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Prithvi's father Pankaj says he is content to be on the sidelines and just watch his son play the big knocks.

"I never gave him any instructions, but told him to just keep batting the way he did, because I know that the more he stays at the wicket, the more runs he will score. Yes, it feels good but there is a long way ahead for him. The kadoos [stubborn] attitude which you associate with Mumbai cricket can be seen in Prithvi's batting, wherein they will try to dominate the bowling and score runs aplenty," he added.

Rizvi Springfield coach Raju Pathak says it is a big achievement to cross the 500-run mark, irrespective of the level one plays cricket at.

"Our opposition was bowled out early and he had the time to play a big knock. He doesn't take time to get runs and we didn't realise when he got to a double century yesterday; today also it felt as if he raced to 500.

We never told him about the record because we didn't want him to feel any extra pressure. I just told him to keep scoring. He batting was excellent. It is a very big thing to score 500 in any level of cricket that you play," he added.


Image: Prithvi Shaw
Photographs: Hitesh Harisinghani/Rediff.com

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'I will have to continue this form and win matches for Mumbai too'

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It turned out to be double delight for Shaw as he was also named the captain of the Mumbai Under-16 team for the BCCI's Vijay Merchant Trophy. Hearing his reaction to his appointment, it is evident he is ready for the job.

"There will be pressure, because now I have been selected for Mumbai's Under-16 team. It is a big responsibility and I will have to continue this form and win matches for Mumbai too," he said.

Asked if he fancies his chances of breaching the five-hundred run mark again, he replied: "I hope so."

If that's not confidence for a 14-year-old, then what is!


Image: Prithvi Shaw
Photographs: Hitesh Harisinghani/Rediff.com
Tags: BCCI , Shaw

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