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Rediff News  All News  » Cricket » Mumbai kid Shaw ready to take guard in Manchester

Mumbai kid Shaw ready to take guard in Manchester

Last updated on: May 7, 2012 18:36 IST

Image: Prithvi Shaw
Photographs: P Sandeep

Harish Kotian meets with 13-year-old cricket prodigy Prithvi Shaw ahead of his three-month coaching-cum-educational stint in the United Kingdom.

For 13-year-old Prithvi Shaw it was a journey into the unknown as he packed his bags for a trip to the United Kingdom. But he is aware that it could well turn out to be the most important miles in his journey towards his dream of playing for India.

Everyone who has seen the lad bat, including the great Sachin Tendulkar, has been left in awe by the potential he has shown and promise he holds for the future.

Therefore, it was no surprise that Shaw was selected by AAP Entertainment, a company floated by former India spinner Nilesh Kulkarni, for a three-month coaching-cum-educational stint in Manchester.

The batting prodigy will be based at Cheadle Hulme School, a 157-year-old educational institution, where he will undertake academic studies in the morning and engage in cricket with the school team in regular and local cup fixtures.

Shaw was gifted a bat by Tendulkar

Image: Prithvi Shaw
Photographs: P Sandeep

Tendulkar first heard about Shaw nearly two years back after the right-hander scored runs aplenty, destroying every bowling attack that squared up against him. The master batsman had just completed his batting net sessions at the Mumbai Cricket Association ground in Bandra-Kurla complex in suburban Mumbai, when the sight of a 11-year-old displaying qualities of a top-notch batsman in the nets made him stop in his tracks.

Impressed by Shaw's batting, Tendulkar gifted him an SG bat that suited his size. The same company now sponsors his cricketing gear.

As he prepared to leave for England on May 1 the excitement was obvious; after all, it was his maiden trip overseas.

"I just want the time to go faster and the clock to strike 10.30pm, because I just can't wait to board the flight and reach England," Shaw told hours before his departure.

Prithvi's father gave up his business to help fulfull his son's dream

Image: Prithvi Shaw with former India stumper Chandrakant Pandit
Photographs: P Sandeep

His father Pankaj has given up a full-time business in order to fulfill his son's dream of playing for India someday. He was equally nervous as he mades sure all the necessary equipment was packed in his big suitcase along with a few photo copies of his visa and passport as back-up in case of an emergency.

The father and son duo live in a one-room kitchen flat in Santacruz in suburban Mumbai which was gifted to them by a local corporator, who was also impressed with Prithvi's exploits.

Pankaj recalled how his young son was forced to wake up everyday at 4.30 in the morning so he could take the earliest train from Virar, nearly 40-50 kms away from Mumbai, to his training ground in Bandra.

It is almost impossible to board the local train carrying the big cricket kit bags once regular commuters pack the trains in the morning rush hour. Hence, the father-son duo had to sacrifice sleep and set out early.

But since shifting to the Santacruz flat life has become easier; now they can concentrate on the cricket.

'I haven't achieved anything yet'

Image: Left to right: Chandrakant Pandit, Armaan Jaffer, Prithvi Shaw and Javed Rizvi, trustee Rizvi Education Society
Photographs: P Sandeep

In the era of the Indian Premier League, it is surprising to see a young kid disinterested in T20 cricket. Shaw only scans through the channels on his televison to check the live scores of a match before switching over to a hindi music channel.

Asked whether he likes watching the IPL, he replied: "I only watch in between, not all the time."

On whether he will prefer Test cricket or Twenty20 when he becomes a cricketer, his reply was quite mature. "Let me get there first and then I will decide. I haven't achieved anything yet; there's still a long way to go for me."

His school, Rizvi Springfield in Bandra, is also supportive of his playing career. Rizvi coach Raju Pathak believes the boy is destined for big things and that a stint in England will prove crucial in honing his skills.

"He is extremely talented. He has scored so much runs in school cricket and the way he scores his runs, it is a treat for the eyes. His batting even at such a young age is pure class," Pathak told

On his stint in the UK, Pathak said: "He will get the opportunity to play on seaming pitches, something which he will get to experience in India. This experience will only make him better as a cricketer and will augur well for his future."

Like Prithvi waited in anticipation that evening for his flight to the UK, Mumbai's cricketing circles are hopeful that the wonderkid will develope into a great cricketer and continue the city's tradition of producing superstars.