Remember how a young chubby batsman came onto the crease for Royal Challengers Banglore in their first match of IPL 9 and the kid set the tone for their whole campaign when he smashed Bhuvaneshwar Kumar of Sunrisers Hyderabad for 24 runs in last over. Yes! The little Inzamam from India, Sarfaraz Khan is whom we are excited about these days after his cameos in IPL. Before Kohli, Gayle and DeVilliers praised the talented batsman, it was his hard work in nets in Mumbai where his father took care of his batting.
Naushad Khan, one of the most respected coaches from Mumbai, have nurtured their own kid on the training grounds since Sarfaraz’s childhood (He is still a child though!). Living his own dream of playing for the national side from his son’s performance, Naushad Khan has surely gifted India a proud talent. Represnting India Under-19 team twice in the ICC Under-19 World Cup tournament (2014 and 2016), Sarfaraz on both the occasions played exceptionally well.
Whenever asked about his success as a batsman, the Indian Inzy is not shy to tell about the hard lessons he was taught in nets by his father. Sarfaraz has always given credit to his father for making him a Cricketing talent. May it be ICC Under- 19 World Cup or may it be IPL, all the interviews of Sarfaraz reveal his father’s efforts and the respect that Sarfaraz has for him.
“So why not just dedicate something for my father?” the chubby boy thought of.
A century would have been great, but its not that easy and neither in control of someone. The boy has smart brains. Sarfaraz changed his jersey number from 86 to 97. When asked about the change, Sarfaraz revealed the extraordinary logic behind the number 97 on his back. 9 is called ‘Nau’ in Hindi and 7 is called ‘Saat’. When we say it together, 97 becomes ‘NauSaat’ which resembles his father’s name ‘Naushad’.
A bit cheeky, just like his cheeks, but still has an ‘awwwww’ to it!
Since then, Sarfaraz has jersey number 97 on his India Under-19, IPL and also his Mumbai Under 19 jerseys. Call him sporty, call him smarty pants or call him Daddy’s boy, Sarfaraz made a place for his love for his father and cricket together, just perfectly.
Batting averages, points per game, winning percentage, goals-per-game, they are all numbers that define sportsmen. But, no number defines sportsmen more than the one on the back of their jerseys. You won many hearts Sarfaraz, once again!