At a time when children of his age are busy playing video games or watching cartoons, eight-year-old Musheer Khan leads the life of a professional cricketer. Two weeks after he became the youngest cricketer to feature in the prestigious Kanga League tournament, Musheer added another feather to his cap by becoming the youngest to take a five-wicket haul in the tournament’s 65-year-old history.
The class IV student of Anjuman-I-Islam bamboozled batsmen thrice his age while playing for the Sportsfield Cricket Club against Catholic Gymkhana at the Bengal Cricket Club at Shivaji Park on Sunday. The diminutive boy stood tall with figures of 18-0-78-5.
His left-arm spin helped restrict the opposition to 186/9 declared.
Musheer, brother of Sarfaraz Khan (the 16-year-old who broke Sachin Tendulkar’s records in schools cricket), then came to his side’s rescue with the bat by holding fort for 65 minutes. The four-and-a-half feet tall youngster’s efforts ensured that the match ended in a draw. Sportsfield were 81/7 when the umpires called it a day.
“Now my abba (Sportsfield captain Naushad Khan) will treat me to chicken,” Musheer, a resident of Kurla, told dna. “I love to play marbles with my friends when I don’t play cricket. Apart from that, I play Subway Surfer on my dad’s phone.”
Musheer’s victims were Dinesh Pawar, 23, Omkar Rilkar, 21, Amar Kulkarni, 26, Manit Shah, 24, and Thomas Dias, 27. He dismissed one batsman leg-before wicket, had two caught in the deep, another caught at short cover and one at short mid-wicket.
He may be getting accolades for his performances, but behind that is a lot of hard work. Musheer’s father says he trains and plays six days a week.
Monday is a ‘holiday’, but on other days, his day begins at 5am.
He trains from 7am to 10am at Azad Maidan before attending English and Maths tuition classes. Musheer returns to the ground at 4pm after attending school and goes to bed only by 9pm. That leaves him no time to interact with his friends in Taximen’s Colony.
Musheer, however, is not complaining given the praise he has been getting. Rival skipper Deepak Thakur, 40, said; “I remember playing against Sachin Tendulkar many, many years ago. We used to say then that the boy will play for India. I can confidently say the same about Musheer.”
Musheer also got Yuvraj Singh’s wicket during a friendly match in New Delhi recently.