Prithvi Shaw (18), captain of India’s Under-19 cricket team which returned from New Zealand in early February with the under-19 World Cup of ICC (International Cricket Council), is the new sports hero of Mumbai. Leading from the front, Prithvi scored an impressive 261 runs in six innings averaging 43.5.
Unsurprisingly, this rising star — right-handed opening batsman — has been snapped up to play for the Delhi Daredevils franchise in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2018 tournament scheduled for April 4-May 31, at a debut price of Rs.1.2 crore.
Currently a class XII student of the city’s Rizvi College of Arts, Science and Commerce, this talented teen made headlines four years ago when he set a world record in school cricket by scoring a massive 546 runs in one innings during the annual Harris Shield inter-school tournament representing Rizvi Springfield High School. Selected to play for Mumbai in the inter-state Ranji Trophy Cricket Tournament in 2016, Prithvi debuted with a century and followed this up with a debut century in the inter-regional Duleep Trophy (2017), a feat previously achieved only by India’s cricket maestro and legend Sachin Tendulkar.
Encouraged by his father Pankaj, a cricket aficionado to start playing cricket at age six, Prithvi began practicing at the nets of the Middle Income Grounds Cricket Club, Bandra. In 2012, Nilesh Kulkarni, a former Mumbai and India cricketer, impressed by this then 12-year-old’s batting, arranged for Prithvi to play and learn at the Cheadle Hulme School, UK..
Two years later, young Prithvi (then 14) repaid this trust by posting the highest score worldwide by a schoolboy. From there, it was a natural progression into Mumbai’s Under-14, Under-16 and Under-19 teams, and his appointment as captain of the India Under-19 team which brought the ICC Under-19 World Cup earlier this year.
Compelled to miss his class XII board examinations in February this year, Prithvi intends to write them in 2019. “I don’t believe that academics and sports are mutually exclusive. I will achieve both goals and realise my dream of donning India colours and playing for the senior national and international cricket teams,” says Prithvi.
Power to your willow!
Dipta Joshi (Mumbai)