15-year-old Pranav Dhanawade scores a record breaking 1009 in an inter-school match in Mumbai
“I never imagined I would score so many runs. While batting, I never keep the count of runs I make. As I continued batting and making runs, it became a world record”, says the beaming child prodigy Pranav Dhanawade, who scored record breaking 1009 in an inter-school game.
The 15-year-old Kalyan schoolboy scripted history when he smashed an unbeaten score of 1009 runs in the Bhandari Cup -- an under 16 inter-school event -- organised by Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA). Pranav now holds the record for the highest individual score in any form of cricket game.
On day one of the match, Pranav retired at 652, not out. “After crossing 500 runs it crossed my mind that I could break the earlier record of 628 runs made by AEJ Collins in 1899.” The next day he reached his milestone and scored 1009 runs. “On the second day, I made 1000 runs with continuous batting. It was sheer luck and years of training which helped,” he says. With 59 sixes and 129 fours, the accolades for class 10 student have been on a rise.
Cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar – Pranav’s idol—congratulated the teen for his feat. “Sachin Sir sent a congratulatory tweet while his son Arjun, with whom I played cricket at MIG Club called me to convey compliments,” says Pranav.
“We are getting congratulatory calls from places all over India including Kashmir, Karnataka, Jabalpur, Indore and Odhisha. Some want to invite him for their functions,” says Pranav’s proud father Prashant Dhanawade -- an auto rickshaw driver.
But his class 10th exams are round the corner and his family doesn’t want him to compromise on studies. “Though l always encouraged his interest in cricket, there is too much competition. For that reason I have always told him to balance studies with cricket so that if cricket does not work out he can get a job,” says Mohini Dhanawade, Pranav’s mother who runs a catering service from home.
Pranav also makes an extra effort to strike a balance between his studies and cricket. On an everyday basis he only gets one and half hour to study. But after some serious studies during a month before the exams he was able to score 70% marks.
“We have told him that if he wants to pursue cricket he will have to complete his studies and I am confident he will be able to do it. He will now have to maintain a good performance at every level (under 19, college and university teams) for job prospects. Like Tendulkar who directly jumped to Ranji from under 16, same may not be true for Pranav even when he has made a record,” says Pranav’ father.
Pranav has been playing cricket since the age of four. He switched from Vani Vidayala in Mulund after class 4 to join KC Gandhi English School in Kalyan for their “good” cricket team. Cricket runs in his family and it has been his first love. Pranav’s grandfather, an employee of Kalyan Municipal Corporation, played for their team. His father too played cricket but had to opt out due to lack of guidance and opportunity.
When Pranav showed interest at a very young age his father encouraged him to pursue his passion. In school, the young cricketer was motivated by his coach Harish Sharma. For five years, every day, after school, he would go and practise at MIG Club in Bandra, come back home, have food and go to sleep. It was under the wings of his coach Mobin Sheikh( Modern Cricket Club), a legendary wicket keeper – batsman in the Kanga League and cricketer with the Central Bank of India -- that Pranav honed his skills.
“It was his own interest in cricket that made Pranav took the game seriously. He worked very hard for 11 years and we stood behind him and the result is here,” says his father.
“My father is the inspiration behind the push, encouragement and motivation,” says Pranav. Due to his meager income, his father works very hard to make his son realise his dream. “This is an expensive game and money is very important. The kit and equipments are very expensive but he [my father] buys me when I require” says Pranav.
While felicitating the wonder boy, the MCA announced a Rs 10,000 scholarship per month for five years for Pranav. The association even handed a cheque of Rs 1.2 lakh to the wonder boy. Meanwhile, Air India has also announced a spot in their cricket team to this young sensation. Though, neither his coach nor his parents have received any formal communication.
What if someone else breaks Pranav’s record? “I don’t think there can be another record, but if there is, my wish is that only an Indian should break it” says Pranav.