Fifteen-year-old Pranav Dhanawade's discipline that helped him bat for nearly 400 minutes yesterday for a mind-boggling, unbeaten 1009 was lauded by one and all.
Also read: How Pranav proved he is a Mumbai cricketer, after all!
Pranav Dhanawade of KC Gandhi School seeks the blessings of his coach Mobin Shaikh yesterday. Pic/Sameer Markande
However, this discipline came the hard way for the 15-year-old KC Gandhi School student, who became the highest individual scorer in all forms of the game.
Pranav was, in fact, given an ultimatum by his coach and mentor Mobin Shaikh a month ago to improve his behaviour and get serious about his cricket, else, get ready to face the boot. Pranav first came to Mobin's Modern Cricket Club in Kalyan when he was five.
"I was fed up with him (Pranav) and a few other kids at my academy. Often, during warm-ups and practice, Pranav cracked jokes or fooled around. Once, we were playing an all-India tournament in the northern region of India and I noticed him laughing at his own dismissal when the replay was shown on the big screen. I was furious."
The final warning
"He was never really serious about his cricket. I did not like this casual attitude and had to give them a final warning —'improve your attitude or get thrown out of the academy'," Mobin revealed to mid-day yesterday. The ultimatum worked. In fact, in Mobin's words, "it did wonders."
"I could see that Pranav had started focusing on his cricket thereafter," he said.
Was it surprising to see Pranav score 1000-plus runs yesterday? "Not really," said Mobin, a Central Bank of India employee.
"I knew he had the potential to play good cricket. All he needed was some seriousness in his approach. He started working on that aspect in the last few days and I am delighted that he was able to achieve this incredible feat," said Mobin.
"Pranav is basically a happy-go-lucky boy. He has a carefree attitude and loves to enjoy his time. I have told him that this knock is history now and tomorrow is a fresh start. He has to start from scratch and work towards achieving higher goals in life."
Pranav, son of an auto rickshaw driver, also had his share of financial hardships, but luckily they were mostly taken care of by his club.
"While the club supported him whenever we could, his parents have also been very supportive. Pranav's mother learnt to cook biryani from my wife. She (Pranav's mother) now takes party orders that help his family generate extra income," Mobin concluded.
Also view pictures: Pranav Dhanawade's journey from oblivion to stardom