Media doesn’t usually wait for pre-teen budding cricketers.
But then it is not everyday that 12-year-olds score 439 runs. Springfield Rizvi High School’s Sarfaraz Khan became the most sought after cricketer in Mumbai on a day his idol Sachin Tendulkar became the first batsman to cross 17,000 ODI runs.
A day after scoring 439 runs against Indian Education Society in a Harris Shield (under-16) Inter-School match, Sarfaraz was busy giving interviews. “Please make it fast, I can give you five minutes,” he told quite a few journalists. And they didn’t seem to mind.
“I will never forget these two days of my life,” said Sarfaraz, a resident of Kurla.
Taking small steps to reach the mammoth score, the standard seven schoolboy’s innings was studded with 56 boundaries and 12 sixes and came off 421 deliveries. His effort surpassed the previous best of 427 scored by R. Nagdev.
Sarfaraz was also thrilled at having surpassed his idol, Sachin Tendulkar’s highest score of 346 in the tournament. But the boy has his feet firmly on the ground.
“I realise that fame will fade away soon. I will have to work hard to get better. I don’t know whether I will achieve the same feat again. But I relish these moments.”
Sarfaraz has grown up in the shadow of his father Naushad, who is a cricket coach.
The youngster says he is lucky to have got the opportunity to practice with IPL stars like Iqbal Abdulla, Rahil Shaikh and Kamran Khan. All these players train under Naushad.
“When Sarfaraz was only four years old, I would take him to Azad Maidan and that’s how he was introduced to the game,” said Naushad, who was coach of Anjuman Islam High School from 2001 to 2005.
“Even though he was playing in the Harris Shield for the first time, Sarfaraz hardly showed any nerves during the long innings. He was not even aware that he was going to set a record.”
Naushad said that all the hard work and sacrifices seem to be paying off.