Those who follow Mumbai cricket know firsthand how hard Naushad has been on his two sons Sarfraz and Mushir (also in the Mumbai squad), who have no life outside of cricket.
So, is your dream India recall on the cards now? His eyes glazed over while answering the question after his century which took Mumbai to 374 matches against Madhya Pradesh in the Ranji Cup final here.
“In our lives, it comes down to all those little dreams we have. The dreams we (him and his dad) had together. The nearly 2,000 runs that I’ve scored in two seasons since my return to Mumbai are because of ‘abbu,’” he said.
When there are no matches, the brothers train for six to seven hours a day under their father’s supervision.
He had disciplinary issues, was not the institution’s favorite child, and had to migrate to UP for a season before returning and taking a cooling off before being selected for Mumbai again.
“Aap sab toh jaante ho mere saath kya kya huwa. Abbu na rahte toh main khatm ho jataa (You all know what I’ve been through and if it wasn’t for my father, I would have finished by now). “
“There was a lot of struggle and when I think about how my dad dealt with it all, I get emotional. He never once left my hand. My brother set up a niche on his cell phone and I could see Abu being so happy. He made my day,” he finally managed to smile .
A fan of Sidhu Moosewala
When asked if the thigh lift celebration was a tradition for Punjabi singer Seydu Musiwala, who was recently shot dead by a gang, he said that was the idea.
“This was for Sidhu Moosewala. I love his songs and Hardik Tamur (keeper) and I often listen to his songs. I did a similar kind of partying during a previous match as well (in his memory), but after that, Hotstar didn’t show it. I had decided once To have another hundred, I will repeat the celebration,” said the burly Mumbaikar.
Layout and drawstring on the back of the selected
Sarfaraz is close to 1,000 first-class runs for the season (currently 937) with a Bradmanesque average of 81.
“This is my best Rangi Cup because this is the final and it came when the team was in a troublesome situation. We were dropping wickets at regular intervals.
“My goal was that no matter what, I wouldn’t throw the wicket away even if it meant I had to play 300 balls. The more balls I play, the bigger my hits will be,” Sarfraz, who scored 134 out of 243 balls a day, said.
The hundred in Ranji’s final is special as it reminded him of carrying heavy bags in the local Mumbai with Noshad’s father, as well as the milling hours that have been set for years.
“When I was a little kid, it was a dream to put on a Mumbai shirt and score a hundred. When I realized this dream, I wanted to score a hundred in the Ranji Cup final when the team is in a precarious situation. That is why I was overwhelmed with emotion at the hundred,” Sarfraz said.
Sarfraz said that as soon as Shams Mullani came out the first time, he had to change his game plan.
“Once Sun came out, I felt like there could be a breakdown around the corner as the tailors in Parliament were getting a fair amount of movement off the track. They were good breakers at bowling but then I had some partnerships that brought me closer to a hundred.
Although he did not reveal what National Picker Sunil Joshi might have told him about his future senior team selection, he did mention that he was praised for beating MP’s tactics.
“It was good to talk to Sunil Joshi sir. He understood that Mr. Chandu (Chandrakant Pandit) had asked my bowlers to block my quick shot and said it was good to be able to rotate the kick even when my pet shot was stopped.”
Regardless of his delight, Sarfaraz had a word of caution for the bowlers as he felt that it would take more discipline on the third morning to keep the MP under tight restrictions after they hit 123 to one in response to 374 in Mumbai.
“We need to be a little more disciplined tomorrow but I can tell you the match is not over yet. And don’t forget that they are going to have to continue on this path.
“Anyway, we are very confident that we will take the lead in the first round, but if we somehow lose our lead in the first innings, we will get them in the fourth,” Sarfraz said.