Saturday was supposed to be a big day for 22-year-old bowler Javed Khan. He was to be a part of the playing 11 of the Mumbai A team that would take on England.
But the dream turned sour a day before he stepped on to the field at the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai. Javed’s father Jayish Khan, a cricket enthusiast and a big supporter of his son’s game, passed away, leaving the youngster shocked.
However, in order to fulfill his father’s dream of seeing him play on the big stage, Javed set out for Navi Mumbai. Hours after his father’s demise, the bowler joined the Mumbai A team to prepare for the big day.
As Jayish was laid to rest in a cemetery in Mumbra, Javed was bowling to the English batsmen with a heavy heart. The medium pacer got two crucial wickets. His victims were Jonathan Trott and centurion Jonny Bairstow. Trott edged the ball to wicket-keeper Sufiyan Shaikh, while Bairstow gave a catch to Shikhar Dhawan off Khan. Khan finished with figures of 17-1-75-2. Mumbai coach Pradeep Sundaram said, “He put up a brave front. He was positive in spite of the tragedy at home.”
In 2006, an 18-year-old Virat Kohli too went through a similar tragedy. He lost his father in the middle of a Ranji Trophy match. Kohli went ahead to save his team from a follow-on.
Javed’s father always dreamt of his son playing for India one day.
“He wanted Javed to play big time cricket. Even when he was supposed to go for surgery, he asked Javed to concentrate on the game. That's why you saw him at the stadium. Playing against a side like England was a big moment for a youngster, and he went with a heavy heart,” said a family friend.