Barely a year old, Shayan Jamal used to have his gaze fixed on TV whenever a cricket match was on. Aged three, he took stance in front of a wicket for the first time. And believe it or not, all of four years now, Shayan has been chosen in his school’s U-12 team.
What strikes you on meeting the boy is how well he plays the cover drive. He also has solid forward defence. It is too young an age to even hold a proper cricket bat, leave alone play at any level. But there is enthusiasm all around.
“I want to play for India one day, like Virat Kohli. I admire him because he is a good batsman and scores centuries,” says Shayan, KG student at Hamdard Public School in Delhi’s Sangam Vihar.
Shayan’s father, Arshad, a former club level cricketer and a modest businessman, is guiding him.
“Shayan’s cricketing sense is strong and he his hungry to play cricket. If I give him a break for a day or two, he begins to pester me, asking ‘why we’re not going for nets! His game is natural. I am just trying to mould him,” says Arshad.
He has a cloth business but his entire focus is on his son.
“My family and friends think I am wasting my time on Shayan. But I feel god has sent him with exceptional talent. I can’t do injustice to him. I am confident god will show the way,” Arshad, who used to be a pace bowler, told HT.
It is too early to say whether Shayan will sustain his interest in the game as he grows up. However, for now his basics are strong and he knows how to leave the ball pitched outside off-stump, and play the late cut.
“I enjoy playing cricket. I want to play more. I also like fielding,” says the shy kid.