Upcoming teenage batsman Sarfaraz Khan will turn out for Uttar Pradesh in the next Ranji Trophy season and has obtained a No Objection Certificate from the Mumbai Cricket Association.
The young batsman shot to limelight with some important knocks for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the last IPL. MCA joint secretary PV Shetty said they tried to convince him but the player’s father was reluctant. “I was not keen to give him the NOC but his father (Naushad) kept requesting for it over the past three days. Mumbai gave him the platform, he represented India under-19 from here and went on to play Ranji Trophy,” Shetty said.
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Shetty added that the MCA promised to give Sarfaraz more chances in the senior team but according to Naushad, UP had assured his son that he will be featuring in all their matches.
Sarfaraz had played three first class games for Mumbai last season, where he scored 95 runs and managed one half century. However, he captured everyone’s imagination with some quickfire knocks in the IPL, with the 21-ball-45 against Rajasthan Royals being the most notable one.
Though talented, he has been pulled up for disciplinary issues by the MCA on a few occasions. In March this year, MCA had issued showcause notice to Sarfaraz for his allegedly making an inappropriate gesture during the semi-final match against Rajasthan in the U-19 Cooch Behar tournament.
His father Naushad, though, said the shift to UP is due to personal reasons. “I have a house in UP and I met Rajeev Shukla few days back. I told him that I want my son to represent UP as I will be moving to my hometown Azamgarh,” Naushad said.
The move reverses the general trend, which sees players from UP move to Mumbai. “Diya mandir mein ho ya masjid mein, roshni hi dega (A lamp burns bright wherever it is lit). I have told Rajeevji that I’m ready to play my son wherever they want. He (Rajeev) had told me that he has to do well in selection games and then only will UPCA will consider Sarfaraz,” he adds.