What is your idea of perfect happiness?
For me, the perfect happiness is being with my family. They are very important for me.
What is your motto in life?
To have good deeds. I respect all religions, I am a very religious person. So, for me, being a good human being is very important. Your deeds define you as a person.
What is your favourite holiday destination?
Anywhere in England. I love the country.
Someone you would go to when you are in doubt...
My dharma guru (religious head). Before I do anything, I make it a point to take his permission and blessings. Even when we won the Ranji Trophy last year, he was there at the ground in Indore during the final.
What are your earliest memories of playing?
I will always remember the first time I walked into the Vidarbha Cricket Association. It was for the trials of under-16 Vijay Merchant Trophy. I had already scored quite a few centuries on the local circuit, and when I came for the trials, I could hear people saying, “The opponents must have done under-arm bowling. That’s why he could score so much.” But in the trial match also I scored a double century.
What other sports do you play?
Tennis. Whenever I am in England for county cricket, I hit the tennis court. I love the game.
If not a cricketer, what would you have been?
I have learnt classical music for a few years, so if I wouldn’t have played cricket, maybe I would have been a musician.
Most memorable sporting moment...
Of course winning the Ranji Trophy. When I made it to the Indian team, it was also a memorable event in my life. Every cricketer dreams of playing for the country and that gives you a high.
One memory you would like to forget...
The Under-19 World Cup in 2004. I was in good form at that time, but I fractured my thumb in a practice game and missed out on the tournament.
Who are your sporting heroes?
Which is your favourite venue?
The VCA Stadium in Nagpur. That’s where I scored my first first-class century.
Questions most asked by the public and the media...
These days everyone wants to know why am I not being picked for the India or India A teams, despite being a consistent performer.
Your advice to youngsters...
Keep working hard and stay grounded. There is no shortcut to success, so you have to go through the entire process. But it is important to be humble even after you achieve success.
What is your nickname?
My mom calls me Faizu.
What is the one thing you always carry with yourself?
The craziest thing you have ever done...
I am not that crazy, but yes, I can mimic people well. When I was playing for the Rajasthan Royals, we were invited as guests for Indian Idol season five. There Yusuf Pathan asked me to mimic someone and I did imitate comedian Raju Srivastava. That was fun and quite spontaneous.
What is your greatest fear?
At the nets, I am always afraid of getting injured while batting.
The one person you admire the most...
My daughter, Rozina. She is my world.
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