Schoolboy Pranav Dhanawade, who smashed a mind-boggling 1,009 not out in an inter-school game recently to leap into the world record books as the first player in any form of cricket to make a four-digit score, was on Wednesday felicitated by the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA).
The Kalyan boy from the K. C. Gandhi school, his coach Mobin Sheikh and the opponent team’s (Arya Gurukul) coach were all honoured by the MCA, headed by Sharad Pawar. Chief guest and former Test opener Madhav Apte handed over a cheque of Rs 1.2 lakh to Pranav, son of a autorickshaw driver, on behalf of the association which has decided to support Dhanawade for the next five years with a montly gratis of Rs 10,000.
Pawar, in his address, described the schoolboy’s feat, which came off 327 balls and included a staggering 129 fours and 59 sixes, as “remarkable” and “exceptional“.
“The MCA managing committee has decided to support him and encourage him,” said Pawar and added that Apte, who went on India’s tour of the West Indies in 1952 and sparkled as a batsman, was the right man to do the honours as he himself had performed a great bowling feat in his school days.
'Cricket can be brutal'
Apte had grabbed 10 wickets for 14 runs bowling leg spin in a Giles Shield inter-school game in the early 1940s, but then was later converted into an opening batsman by the great all rounder-turned coach Vinoo Mankad. Apte, in his speech, touched upon the pitfalls a cricketer can come across and advised the young boy to keep his head firmly on the shoulder at all times.
“This game of cricket is a brutal one. You may score a hundred one day and get a zero on the next,” said Apte and recalled the last innings of Australia’s cricket legend Sir Donald Bradman against England at the Oval in August, 1948.
“Bradman then needed just four runs in that innings to finish with a career average of 100, but was bowled for a second ball duck by Eric Hollies and finished with an average of 99.94,” said 83-year-old Apte, who played seven Tests.
He also recalled how India’s own Bhausaheb Nimbalkar was prevented from overtaking the then first-class record score made by Sir Don in a Ranji game when Maharashtra’s opponents Kathiawar (now Saurashtra) did not turn up after tea on the last day when the batsman was 443 not out and well in sight of the Don’s record score of 452.
“Cricket is a team game. You not only have to thank your partners for giving you the support to achieve the feat but also praise the opponents for not running away like Saurashtra players did,” said Apte
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