Ganesh Chaturthi

When Yashasvi Jaiswal was sent back from stage for not wearing cricketing whites

04 June,2023 07:55 AM IST |  Mumbai  |  Sundari Iyer

While fans of Yashasvi Jaiswal rejoice in his standby call-up for India’s World Test Championship final squad, there was a time when Mumbai’s young batting star was sent back from a stage for not wearing cricketing whites; ex-coaches express delight over his success at first-class and IPL level

Yashasvi Jaiswal

Tuesday announcement of Rajasthan Royals's (RR) Mumbai-based batsman Yashasvi Jaiswal, 21, bagging the IPL's Emerging Player of the Season award for Indian Premier League-16 hasn't surprised the city's cricket fraternity.

His appetite for runs is well known and that quality was on full display throughout the T20 tournament. In 14 games, the left-handed batsman scored 625 runs with a top-score of 124 coming against Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede Stadium on April 30.

Also Read: Yashasvi wages lone battle to carry Royals to 212, becomes 4th youngest IPL centurion

Less than two weeks later, against Kolkata Knight Riders at the Eden Gardens, he stayed unbeaten on 98 while RR chased down their 150-run target to win in a canter.

Anjuman-I-Islam's (Urdu) Yashasvi Jaiswal during a Giles Shield match in 2013. Pic/Shadab Khan

RR didn't qualify for the Playoffs, but joy came in the form of a standby call-up in India's World Test Championship final squad currently in England. Jaiswal's selection came about because Ruturaj Gaikwad was unavailable due to personal reasons.

Jaiswal won't be part of the XI for the June 7-11 game against Australia at The Oval and he'll probably wear a reserve player's bib. But he will witness an extravaganza in which players will be dressed in whites. It's the type of attire that caused an embarrassing situation for Jaiswal way back in 2012-13 while representing Anjuman-I-Islam (Urdu).

Nafees Khan, who was present at the function as coach of Al-Barkaat, told mid-day: "Yashasvi went up to collect his best batsman award [at the Mumbai Schools Sports Association (MSSA) prize distribution function], but the officials did not give him the award since he was not in whites. Yashasvi came down crying from the stage. I felt bad because he was all excited to receive the prize. I called him aside, gave him one of my player's whites and then requested the MSSA officials to give him the award, which they did," explained Khan.

Rizvi's Jaiswal receiving the best player award from Sulakshan Kulkarni (centre) and Siddhesh Lad at MSSA's annual awards function in 2015

‘His smile stays the same'

Talking about the Mumbai batting star's talent and dedication, Nafees remarked: "Yashasvi has surpassed many of his seniors and it won't be long before he scores heavily for India too. I remember him playing the Worli Cup final for Rizvi Sports Club as an U-14 player and scoring runs against my team, Diamond Star. Later that day, he went to play the Police Shield tournament featuring senior players. That showed his commitment and hunger for the game. Yashasvi's cute smile has stayed the same. He is humble in nature and I hope he stays that way."

Meanwhile, Raju Pathak, Jaiswal's coach when the opener shifted from Anjuman-I-Islam (Urdu) to Rizvi Springfield, hailed Jaiswal for his focus, which he had in plenty even during his school days. "He was very dedicated. He would be batting next to the tent even during lunchtime. In the 2015-16 season, he scored around 1,200 runs. If there was a practice session at 9 am, he would be present at 8 am for knocking. He calls me often and is a happy-go-lucky person. I just want him to stay the same and not get distracted," remarked Pathak.

Also Read: 'Not that Yashasvi sold panipuris & went on to play for India': Childhood coach

Jaiswal's Mumbai Ranji Trophy teammate Bhupen Lalwani, 24, reckoned the dashing batsman profited greatly by being in the company of some celebrated names in world cricket on the IPL stage.

Nafees Khan, Raju Pathak and Bhupen Lalwani

Game-changing 203

"Having seen him play since our U-14 days, he has come a long way. He used to score heavily in his school days, but by spending time with international stars and renowned coaches in the IPL, he has taken his game to a new level," said Lalwani, who felt the Vijay Hazare Trophy 203 for Mumbai against Jharkhand in 2019, when he became the youngest (17 years) Indian to score a double ton in List A cricket, was nothing short of a game-changer for Jaiswal.

Indeed, there's going to be many more games that Jaiswal will change. His opponents had better watch out.

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