The journey in a Virar local is full of hardships and during rush hours on the Western line, passengers not only have to combat heavy crowds but also the hostility meted out to newbies by the regulars, who do not easily allow them entry into their compartment. For the longest time, Prithvi Shaw was one of the everyday travelers in the train as he lived in Virar. His daily journey from his home to the practice venue to play cricket and back again, would take him about four hours.
Rahul Dravid, who was sitting right next to Shaw during the arrival press conference of the victorious colts, listened keenly to his story. The skipper of the Under-19 team was recalling the struggles and hardships he went through as child when he was developing his skills as a batsman.
“It was a difficult journey for me as I used to live in Virar. All credit to my Dad, who would take me to match practices, all of which were held very far away from my home in Virar.”
Shaw has led the Rizvi Springfield School, Bandra team many times in his Giles and Harris Shield days but this time he was captaining the national team and stepping in to big shoes. He has been compared to Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli for his batting and his captaincy at the same time. He has a 100 per cent winning record as the skipper of the U-19 squad.
Shaw had displayed commendable resilience when he opened the innings but he was unfortunatenot to score big in the the semi-finals and the finals.
“I am very happy and proud, I played a lot of school cricket and scored heavily there and then the Ranji Trophy but when we represent India, it’s a different feeling.” said Shaw who now lives in Kalina with his father.
The opening batsman’s mother passed away when he was very young. His father has always ensured that his son does not miss out on his dream of becoming a cricketer.
Lifting the U-19 trophy meant a huge deal to him. “Mumbai has been home to cricket for many decades and there’s no doubt about it. The 41 Ranji Trophy wins speak for it. And yes we have brought the World Cup back and everybody has worked hard for it during practice and practice matches, including the support staff and the results were seen,” he said.
“We had a specific plan and it was well executed on the ground and hence we lifted the World Cup,” said Shaw, who led his side and scored 29 in the finals.
From traveling four hours everyday in the local train with his father, to lifting the Under-19 World Cup, he has come a long way. “The train journey used to take two hours and it was a difficult one for him in those
days. In the last two-three years I have been working hard to play for the India U-19 team. I can’t express in words the feeling of becoming the World Cup captain, thanks to everyone,” he said.
He is part of Mumbai squad in the Vijay Hazare Trophy in Chennai and may feature in the game against Tamil Nadu on Thursday. Next up will the big stage of the Indian Premier League, where he will play for Delhi Daredevils who bought him for Rs 1.20 crores in the auction.