Indian news November 5, 2009

Twelve-year-old breaks Harris Shield record with 439

Cricinfo staff

A 12-year-old schoolboy, Sarfaraz Khan, has broken the record for the highest score in the Harris Shield inter-school tournament, scoring 439 for Rizvi Springfield against Indian Education Society (Kandivli) on Tuesday. Sarfaraz hit 56 boundaries and 12 sixes during his 421-ball innings to break the record set by R Nagdev who had scored 427 not out in 1963-64.

He was dropped three times - on 25, 253 and 302 - but took full advantage of the chances to break the record.

Unlike most inter-school games, this one attracted a cluster of TV cameras and reporters at Cross Maidan when Tuesday's play began with Sarfaraz batting overnight on 235. The first milestone he targetted was the 346 that Sachin Tendulkar had scored in the same tournament 21 years ago.

"My father was telling me I should try and better Tendulkar's score," Sarfaraz told the Indian Express. "I was already on 235 and as one of the boundaries at Cross Maidan is short, I felt it was possible."

His father Naushan Khan is a local coach who trained current Mumbai Ranji players Iqbal Abdulla and Rahil Shaikh as well as left-arm fast bowler Kamran Khan, who came into spotlight in the IPL's second season for the Rajasthan Royals.

Sarfaraz, who grew up in the Mumbai suburb of Kurla, has been involved with the game since childhood, and has already been to a fair number of selection trials. "Iqbalbhai and Kamranbhai stay with me, so whenever they went for selection trials, my father took me along," sarfaraz said. "Once I had gone for the Mumbai Indians' selections, where I saw Mohammad Ashraful and Sachin Tendulkar talking."

"I heard Ashraful asking Sachin about difficulties in getting the front foot forward in time. Sachin was instructing Ashraful to watch the bowler's arm till the last moment before moving his feet. I tried that later and it worked for me."

The company of senior players has other advantages as well. "Iqbalbhai always sets challenges - he asks me to score a century before every match and most times I win. This time, he told me to hit 300, I went on to score 400."