MUMBAI: By leading India to the ICC U-19 World Cup triumph on Saturday in New Zealand, Prithvi Shaw, who scored 261 runs in six games during the campaign, added another feather to his cap. This is the latest step on the ladder of success for the 18-year-old.
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The by now well-documented Shaw story is all about a boy from Mumbai’s maidans slogging his way to the top through sheer talent, despite many hardships. Shaw lost his mother while he was still a toddler.
Raju Pathak, his coach at Rizvi Springfield, reminisces of the day a tiny boy came to his nets at the Bandra Reclamation ground. “Accompanied by his father, he had come all the way from Virar for a trial. Since he was just eight years old, I sent him to the Nets Meant for kids. However, after watching him play just three-four balls, I switched him into the nets meant for our senior school team. He has phenomenal talent.”
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From then on began a relentless, punishing slog which would see Shaw wake up at 3.30 am, get ready and catch a fast train to Bandra for practice at 7 am. The budding cricketer stuck to this grind for a couple of years before Sanjay Potnis, a Shiv Sena MP, offered the boy his flat at Vakola in Santa Cruz. His major concern of travelling taken care of, Shaw began to produce the kind of scores which were hard to ignore in Mumbai’s interschool cricket.
In April 2012, Shaw was invited to England to play for Cheadle Hulme School in Manchester and scored 1,446 runs during his two-month stay. In subsequent years, Shaw made a few more trips to England to refine his game.
In between came the world record score in a Harris Shield match: a mammoth 546 off 330 balls. Soon, he beat Sachin Tendulkar‘s record to become the youngest playing member of the historic Cricket Club of India (CCI). If Tendulkar was just 15 when the rules were bent to allow him to play for CCI, Shaw was all of 14.
Making his first-class debut for Mumbai in the Ranji Trophy semifinals, Shaw scored a match-winning century in the second innings against Tamil Nadu, before making a ton on his Duleep Trophy debut.
Between his first FC game and now, Shaw has already displayed a tremendous improvement in shot selection and game awareness, while also improving his under-fire fielding and fitness skills — witness his brilliant diving catches at gully in the semifinals against Pakistan. Source : timesofindia