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Family revels in Sharma's success
Our Correspondent

Rohit Sharma
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September 21, 2007 10:18 IST

The telephone would not stop ringing and the 15 people assembled in Dinesh Lad's room at Star Line building Gorai in the far suburbs of Mumbai couldn't believe that the boy next door had made it big.

On Thursday, Rohit Sharma, playing only his second innings for India, scored an unbeaten 50 and was decalred the man of the match in the do or die encounter against South Africa in the Super Eights of the Twenty20 World Championship.

The 20-year-old Rohit, who made his debut Twenty20 only 24 hours ago against England [Images] but did not get to bat, played with controlled aggression to help India cross 150.

He posted his half century in style, pulling the last ball of the innings from Johan van der Wath for a six over square leg. He faced 40 balls and hit seven fours and two sixes.

"I always knew he had the potential to be a good cricketer and he proved it. I provided a platform and he achieved it. I feel he has great role to play in the future for Indian cricket team," Dinesh Lad, Sharma's coach told

It was 2 am in the morning but at Sharma's residence, the festivities had just begun.

Rohit's father Gurunath Sharma said, "For me the six which Rohit hit was the best moment of my life."

Gurunath, who lost his job in a transport company, depended on his son's earning as he played for Indian Oil [Get Quote] and later the Ranji trophy and his savings. Though his financial condition was adverse, Rohit has come out against all odds and proved himself.

"He had in him as a child," says Lad, who spotted his talent. "When I saw him playing cricket I knew he could make it and therefore coaching him since class seven. He scored his first century when he was playing for inter school tournament."

Rohit's mother Poornima too was pleasantly surprised by her son's smooth transition to the international stage.

"I was never interested and never wanted him to play cricket. It is only because of his passion I gave in. Now, I too enjoy the game," said Poornima, who was concerned that Rohit was not giving enough attention to studies.

After he started as a professional cricketer career, Rohit was the only earning member of the family. His younger brother is doing a hotel management course.

So how does the proud feel now as Rohit has become the man of the moment?

Poornima beams, "Rohit's father completed his 50th birthday recently and I think he has given the best birthday gift to his father. I have no more words to express my happiness."

She further adds, "I wanted to see him as an all rounder and I hope in future he makes it."

Though not a regular bowler, Rohit is a useful off-spinner and was effective in the domestic Twenty20 tournament, where he bagged eight wickets from 10 matches.

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