Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Prithvi Shaw-led U-19 World Cup stars inspire Mumbai's U-16 cricketers

Mumbai U-16 players at the international airport yesterday to receive the India U-19 World Cup team. Pics/PRADEEP DHIVAR
Mumbai U-16 players at the international airport yesterday to receive the India U-19 World Cup team. Pics/PRADEEP DHIVAR

Among the numerous cricket lovers, who made their way to the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport last afternoon to witness the arrival of the Prithvi Shaw-led India U-19 World Cup-winning team, were a good number of young cricketers. The Indian team which won junior cricket's biggest prize in New Zealand on Saturday, arrived at 2.20 pm, but they only emerged from the terminal's exit door at 3.30 pm. The wait seemed endless for the young cricketers and fans, waiting to get a glimpse of Indian cricket's latest heroes, who then headed straight to the waiting team bus.

Aditi Surve, a Mumbai U-16 player, was delighted to be at the airport. "We would like to interact with the Indian team, but I don't think it'll be possible given this huge crowd. I feel so proud that India have won the U-19 World Cup for the fourth time. Now, I want our women's team to win the World Cup," she said. Ketki Dhure, a Mumbai U-16 girls probable, was hoping to get a few selfies with the victorious team members. "We all gathered at Vile Parle (East) by 12.45pm and reached here by 1.30pm, but we are not tired at all since we are very excited to be here. Shubman Gill is my favourite player from this team. He was just brilliant throughout the tournament," said Ketki.

Mumbai (boys) U-16 off-spinner Yash Jathar revealed that around 35 U-16 players were at the airport: "We are very proud of them and they have motivated us. If we get chance to play for India, we will try to play like them. Since I am an off-spinner, my favourite in this team is Anukul Roy." U-16 batsman Akshat Jain, who travelled from Chembur, was motivated by the crowd that gathered to greet the India U-19 team. "We too want to be part of such a team in future and get such a warm welcome. For me, Manjot Kalra's knock in the final was the highlight," he said.

Ravi Gupta, who plays for Prithvi's school, Rizvi Springfield, was proud to be part of the same institution as the India U-19 captain. Ravi's teammate Umar Khan said he was in awe of Prithvi ever since he used to practice with him. Umar is now looking forward to receiving some tips from the young star. Accompanying the Rizvi boys was Raju Pathak, the school coach, who has watched Prithvi grow from a prolific run-getter at school level to an India star.

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