Prithvi Shaw: All you need to know about the Mumbai wonder boy
On 8th November 1999, a 26-year-old Sachin Tendulkar, the toast of a cricket-crazy nation and a legend in the making, compiled a masterful unbeaten 186 against the Kiwis, a score that would be the highest score by an Indian in ODIs for the next decade.
The very next day, in Thane, 25 kms from Mumbai, Prithvi Shaw was born.
14 years later, just days after the Master Blaster bid adieu to world cricket, Shaw, already a talent for the future, blasted a record 546 runs off 330 balls, while playing for Rizvi Springfield in the Harris Shield, a tournament that made Sachin Tendulkar famous in 1988 for his record-breaking partnership with Vinod Kambli.
It felt as if Shaw was born to walk on the footsteps of Sachin.
He now has four centuries from five first-class games, and is only behind Sachin when it comes to most first-class hundreds before the age of 18.
Here’s all you need to know about the wonder boy from Mumbai:
At the age of three, Prithvi was enrolled in a nearby cricket coaching academy by his father Pankaj, who ran a clothing business of his own.
A four year old Prithvi was thrust into the harsh realities of life when his mother passed away, forcing his father to leave his business and concentrate primarily on building a very young Prithvi’s cricketing career.
Prithvi was enrolled in the Middle Income Group (MIG) Cricket Club, and used to travel three hours daily to reach the academy at 7 am.
In 2010, the year Sachin scored the first double century in ODIs, Prithvi was offered a contract worth Rs. 3,00,000 by a sports management company owned by former India cricketer Nilesh Kulkarni, making it possible for the father and his son to move to a flat in Santa Cruz.
In 2012, Shaw was chosen for a three-month course at the Cheadle Hulme School in Manchester, where he first got a taste of English conditions while combining studies with play. He scored 1446 runs, at an average of 85, and took 68 wickets.
In 2013, Shaw was invited by Gloucestershire to train with the team, and while he did not get to play with the second XI for being an overseas player, he played in the friendlies and made his mark. He later played for Cleethorpes in the Yorkshire ECB County Premier League.
In January this year, he made his first-class debut for Mumbai, against Tamil Nadu in the Ranji Trophy semis. Unmindful of all the hype, he scored a century in the second innings, earning the Man of the Match award.
Later this year, on his Duleep Trophy debut for India Red, Shaw, at 17 years and 320 days, became the second youngest to score a century in the tournament after Sachin Tendulkar. He also played for the youth team on their tour to England.
He was subsequently excluded from India's U-19 squad for the Asia Cup, with the selectors opining that the youngster should target the longer format of the game and play the Ranji season for Mumbai.
In October, he represented the Board President's XI when they faced the visiting New Zealand team, and earned praise from Trent Boult, who was impressed by the way the 17-year-old handled pace and swing without any signs of discomfort.
While he continues to break records at breakneck speed, let's hope that Shaw doesn't fall prey to all the hype around him, and lives up to the expectations of being Indian cricket's bright future.