Friday, January 5, 2018

IPL: RCB's Sarfaraz Khan to use Rs 1.75 crore fee to buy home in Titwala

Sunrisers Hyderabads mentor VVS Laxman speaks while an image of RCB’s retainee Sarfaraz Khan is displayed on a screen during the IPL Player Retention announcement yesterday. PIC/suresh karkera
Sunrisers Hyderabad's mentor VVS Laxman speaks while an image of RCB’s retainee Sarfaraz Khan is displayed on a screen during the IPL Player Retention announcement yesterday. PIC/suresh karkera

Ever since Sarfaraz Khan quit Mumbai to play for Uttar Pradesh in 2015, there have been more speed-breakers on his road.
He played only five Ranji Trophy matches with just one 50-plus score before injuring his knee during a practice game for Royal Challengers Bangalore. That injury ruled him out of the last Indian Premier League.

Fresh ammo
But yesterday, the young batting sensation received fresh ammo to put his promising career on the fast track after the Royal Challengers Bangalore decided to retain Sarkaria as their third player after skipper Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers. Though Sarfaraz Khan will fetch Rs1.75 crore, RCB will have to forego Rs3 crore from their purse as per the guidelines set by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). With the Metro rail project affecting the cricketing activities at Mumbai's nursery Azad Maidan, Sarfaraz was also one of the severely affected with no proper ground to practice on.

Sarfaraz and his younger brother Musheer, who plays age group cricket for Mumbai, would roam around various grounds in search of a proper training facility everyday. However, with the RCB putting Sarfaraz in the crorepati league now, the family is planning to buy at least a one-acre piece of land at a village near Titwala on the outskirts of Mumbai. There they will prepare a ground and build a home as well.

"I was planning to buy a piece of land to practice daily as Azad Maidan was getting very taxing. We are not getting the kind of practice which is required since a portion of the Azad Maidan is taken up for the Metro project. I am in talks with a few people to buy land. Now, we should be able to seal the deal soon. We'll prepare a mini ground with a few practice pitches," Sarfaraz's father Naushad, who is also the young gun's coach, told mid-day after RCB announced Sarfaraz as one of the retained players.

Azad Maidan woes
Sarfaraz welcomed his family's decision. "Quite often the ball would go into the area dug up for the Metro project. There would be a lot of disturbance due to overcrowding too. I was not getting quality practice at Azad Maidan," said Sarfaraz from Lucknow. He also spoke about the serious knee injury he suffered last April when he was ruled out of IPL-10. "I have dived on grounds like Azad Maidan and Cross Maidan, but never suffered any injury. I would like to credit my father for his tremendous support. "The doctor had said that I can start batting after four months, but we started knocking just two months after the surgery. I started playing competitive matches within five months whereas the doctor had told me to start after eight months.

"So, this decision to prepare our own ground is quite fascinating. I am quite thrilled that the (RCB) team management decided to retain me with the two legends of world cricket," said Sarfaraz. RCB head Amrita Thomas touted Sarfaraz as a future star. "We live bold and play bold. He (Sarfaraz) is one to watch out for in the future. We believe in investing in youth as he is a phenomenal player," said Thomas.

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