India news November 20, 2013

Mumbai teenager hits record 546


Prithvi Pankaj Shaw, a 14-year-old from Mumbai, has entered the record books after smashing 546 runs - the highest score by an Indian batsman in minor cricket - during a Harris Shield match at the Azad Maidan in Mumbai. Shaw's innings lasted 367 minutes over two days and included a whopping 85 fours and five sixes which helped his team, Rizvi Springfield, take an 899-run first-innings lead in the A division match against St Francis D'Assisi.

Even though the boundary on one side of the ground - towards midwicket/point - was on the shorter side, a number of Shaw's shots targeted the longer boundaries as he preferred the cover drive and flick. During his 330-ball innings, Shaw, a right-hand batsman, shared a 619-run stand for the second wicket with Satyalaksh Jain, who scored 164.

The Baronet Club's ground on the eastern edge of the Azad Maidan was easy to spot today as the news of Shaw's feat spread quickly. The local print media, which covers the tournament regularly, had the company of mediapersons from national dailies and news channels.

Mobbed by television cameras after the end of Rizvi's innings, a calm Shaw said, "It is a good score for me and my team. Our coach just asked me to concentrate on every ball. The only plan was to score as many runs as we could. I wasn't thinking of a record, but it feels good."

Shaw is no stranger to Mumbai cricket circles. In the past, he has not only made news for being a heavy-scorer in the local tournaments but also for reportedly being praised by Sachin Tendulkar, whose then-world-record partnership of 664 with Vinod Kambli came in the same tournament. It wasn't a surprise then when a reporter drew parallels with Tendulkar. Shaw momentarily cocked his brow before answering with a straight face. "It's too far ahead. For now, I am happy playing at this level and scoring the runs," he said. "Tendulkar is my idol in cricket and one thing I try to pick up from him is how he carries himself in a humble manner."

Shaw's story, like several others', is one of hard work. Before the age of 10, Shaw was already making long trips from Virar, a suburb 65 kms north of Mumbai, to the fairly central Bandra - a journey that takes 1 hour 45 minutes - to practice with the right people after his talent was spotted. The only family Shaw has is his father, who runs a struggling garment business. Support came through timely intervention from a local MLA, who arranged for an apartment so that the two could stay in Santacruz east, ten minutes away from Bandra's MIG club. Now, Shaw's education is been taken care of by the school - Rizvi Springfields - while he also earns a scholarship, which helps run the house.

He is currently the captain of the Mumbai Under-16 team, which includes his seniors from Rizvi - Armaan Jaffer, Mumbai and India opener Wasim Jaffer's nephew, and Sarfaraz Khan, who has progressed to India Under-19s. During the course of his innings on Wednesday, Shaw went past the previous records set by these two batsmen - in 2009, Sarfaraz had scored 439, which was bettered to 498 by Armaan in 2010-11. Armaan also scored 473 in February 2013, in the Giles Shield.

Devashish Fuloria is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • TR on November 26, 2013, 16:45 GMT

    Mumbai tracks are always flat. So no surprise Mumbai batsmen have lot of records to show. Let them come out and play in pace/spin pitches and produce such records.

  • Bingo on November 23, 2013, 15:01 GMT

    CONTINUED FORM ABOVE: the sandy beaches of West Indies. Where bowlers and batters alike learnt their cricket. You would think that slow/indifferent pitches in India would induce a budding fast bowler to try harder. It would be a sorry cricketer who throws up his hand during a match putting forward the pitch argument as an excuse for lack of trying harder. If batters are graded by their form on bowler friendly pitches, why should bowlers not be graded by their abilities to negotiate a batter friendly pitch? At least its not sandy! It would be sad indeed to have to **prepare bowler friendly pitches** to pick up bowlers for a national side (probably end up producing excellent batters, though). The more likely reason for India not producing ANY bowler of great skills recently is that there's no bowler version of Tendulkar. Spin went out of fashion with the departure of Bedis and Chandrasekhars. (No commercial endorsements etc. for these spin geniuses). How many businesses back Ojha or Ash

  • Bingo on November 23, 2013, 14:38 GMT

    Everyone blames Indian pitches for not *encouraging* bowlers, fast or slow, in recent times. It is not like India has ever produced a battery of fast bowlers in the past. There have been one or two pre-1950-60 but from the 1960s to2013 there have only been Dev, Srinath and, maybe, Sharma who have regularly bowled at 140KPH and over. Srinath was probably the fastest and Sharma was clocked bowling 150KPH in some ODIs and IPL 20-20 matches. Really, are Indian pitches to blame? I recently saw a wonderful documentary about the rise of West Indian fast bowlers (and the making of Loyds' world beating team of the 70s - 80s). Called "Fire in Babylon" (On Netflix) it also describes the bouncer wars in Australia, which featured, probably the greatest gathering of fast bowlers in history (Lille, Thompson, Pascoe, Marshal, Holding, Croft, Garner) in some detail. The West Indian fast bowlers were virtually picked up from where they toiled and trained: The Sandy Beaches CONTINUED BELOW (maybe).

  • Bingo on November 23, 2013, 13:33 GMT

    At which point I dare say that India does have a few ''Potentially""` good batsmen of which only Kohli has played overseas. Batters like Dhavan, Sharma, why, even Poojara have not been tested abroad. The only player with some quality overseas experience is their Captain, Dhoni. Given the record of Indian batters who have scored centuries on debut (seven out of the lot never did make any more centuries and were out of the side soon after) an optimistic ratio of 1:3 for any of the three batters (Dhavan, Sharma and Poojara) is, I suppose, as good a way of predicting India's future batting strength. Of these I would back Sharma simply because of his grit and determination as Indian Batters playing overseas, in spite of having great talent, have failed to do anything of note because of their lacking the qualities displayed by Sharma recently. So, I guess, India should still be looking for some real talent to enhance their bench strength.

  • Arul on November 22, 2013, 11:29 GMT

    Well done Prithvi . Have fun with cricket and focus on studies as well. Good luck with your future.

  • Sagarneel on November 22, 2013, 11:09 GMT

    Please leave him alone and let him enjoy his childhood and cricket.

  • Dummy4 on November 22, 2013, 9:56 GMT

    Which is the highest Individual score in any form of Cricket. Prithvi' effort is great as no other great Mumbai Batsman in the past or present could not score 500 runs and not even the great Sachin Tendulkar. So watch out for this teenager who will go miles if give right opportunity and right breaks at the right time.

  • James on November 22, 2013, 1:09 GMT

    Actually the Sarfraz Khan mentioned in the article was one of the better performers in the Under-19 world cup. Sarfraz is less than 16, which implies that the 439 that he scored 4 years ago was done when he was below 12. In addition to batting, his bowling was ailso pretty effective and it would be good if he leaves mumbai so that he gets a chance to play in Ranji next year- so that he can test and develop his skills against the more accomplished players.

  • Android on November 21, 2013, 22:30 GMT

    Results of flat wickets. BCCI must think about Indian bowling future.

  • Naresh on November 21, 2013, 9:51 GMT

    WELL done to this youngster. Batting talents at all age groups has been the key!!! @binu.emiliya - yah Kuldeep (chinaman bowler) is good spinner to watch for.

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