Ranji Trophy: Story of Tanveer's battle against adversities

The Rajasthan left-arm seamer is in fine form, with a massive haul of 50 wickets in the Ranji Trophy so far.

Tanvir Ul-Haq celebrates a wicket against Karnataka at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on Wednesday.   -  Sudhakara Jain

From working as a newspaper boy to not having money to buy cricket whites, Tanveer Ul-Haq has seen his share of hardships. And through it all, he retained an unshakable desire to make something of his life.

Having secured a spot in the Rajasthan team, Tanveer's perseverance has paid off. The left-arm seamer is in fine form, with a massive haul of 50 wickets in the Ranji Trophy so far.

But the start of his journey was rocky. On the sidelines of Rajasthan’s quarterfinal outing against Karnataka, he tells Sportstar, “My neighbour in Dholpur, Dushant Tyagi bhaiyya, used to play cricket, so I joined him at practice.

"Rajasthan Cricket Association (RCA) Secretary Somendra Tiwari sir saw me bowl, and asked me to come for a match. I didn’t have money to buy whites, so I wore my father’s pyjamas. Tiwari sir was not happy, but when he found out about my financial condition, he gave me a pair of Reebok shoes and two pairs of cricket whites.

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"He continued to support me with all the cricket equipment I needed. I owe everything to Tiwari sir.”

Tanveer soon made it to the Rajasthan under-17 team, but needed to earn money to help his family. So he started working as a car mechanic, and then eventually started delivering newspapers to make ends meet.

“I worked as a newspaper delivery boy for six months, earning a monthly salary of ₹300. I would wake up at 4 a.m., offer prayers, deliver newspapers on my friend's cycle, and then head for cricket practice. I quit when I met with an accident, because this upset my mother a great deal," Tanveer said.

Tanveer’s struggles continued for a few years, until he turned to an old friend for help. “Tiwari sir gave me ₹2,000, and told me to go to Udaipur to attend the Rajasthan Under-22 team trials. By the time I reached Udaipur, the trials were over. Tiwari sir made a call, and I was picked for the selection matches. I took 11 wickets in three matches, but that was not enough to get picked,” he said.

Tanveer then received a huge stroke of luck. “Aniket Choudhary was in the squad, but he had to leave to play in the Ranji Trophy. I was called up as his replacement. That was the turning point of my life. I kept playing age-group tournaments, and eventually went on to compete
in senior domestic cricket," he said.

The 27-year-old is keen to repay his parents for all they have done for him. “I want them to rest. They have struggled a lot,” he said.