IT’S been their routine for quite sometime now. Prashant Dhanawade drops his son Pranav for cricket practice after a long day earning his livelihood by driving his autorickshaw around the streets of Kalyan. Then he takes him back, with the conversations between the Dhanawades never drifting away from their shared passion—cricket. But Monday was different. Pranav’s technique and Prashant’s observations on it were pushed to the background. The only topic of discussion was, “How many guests will we have to host tonight and how many will be waiting for us when we get back?”
This is not to say that scoring 1009 runs off 323 isn’t a tiring task but Pranav had spent almost an equal amount of his energy dealing with nearly 1009 interview requests that came his way from the indulgent media thereafter. His phone never stopped ringing and at one point the soft-spoken 15-year-old couldn’t help but feel overawed by the incessant attention that he was being besieged by.
“So many people are calling me. People have come from far and wide to see me bat,” he said.
Not far away stood his doting father. There was a time before he took to driving autorickshaws when the senior Dhanavade too fancied himself as a cricketer with a future. Now, on a day where his son is being spoken about in various corners of the world, Prashant can’t help but start dreaming big.
“I also wanted to play cricket, my father too played club cricket but we never managed to make it big. I want to see my son play for India,” he said.
Pranav’s cricketing journey before he broke the never-thought-of-before four-figure mark too has been anything but memorable. He’s struggled to get anywhere near the junior Mumbai teams. He has been representing MIG in the local club competitions and even has a century to his name, a highest score of 152. But scoring 1009 wasn’t a thought that would have crossed his mind even in the wildest of dreams. But after having finished Sunday on 652, the father reveals that Pranav had started thinking about the bigger milestones ahead.
“When he scored those 600 runs on Monday I thought there is a chance of him scoring 1000 runs. He said he would break the record too. His natural game is to go after the bowlers and he batted brilliantly today. It’s a big day for us but it’s just a start. I’m happy that Pranav has put Kalyan’s name on the world map,” he said.
Breaking batting records has somewhat become a tradition of sorts in Mumbai school cricket with the likes of Sarfaraz Khan (439 in 2009), Armaan Jaffer (498 in 2010) and Prithvi Shaw (546 in 2014) having kept the trend in vogue over the last few years. But it’s unlikely that Dhanavade’s achievement will be matched anytime soon. But avoiding the natural urge to leave Kalyan and take his son to Mumbai,
Prashant believes was the best decision for Pranav.
“We had offers for him to play in Mumbai but the travelling would have taken a heavy toll on him. Kalyan may not have produced many cricketers who have reached any great level. But if he’s good then he will get noticed regardless of where he’s playing,” he said. And on a day when the entire cricket world stood up and took notice of the teenager who broke the 1000-run barrier—if anyone even ever thought there was one like it—Dhanavade couldn’t have put it better.