All I wanted was to play international cricket in front of my father: Sarfaraz

07:40 PM Feb 15, 2024 | PTI |

All that Sarfaraz Khan wanted since the beginning of his cricket journey as a six-year-old was to become an international player in front of his father.


Two decades later, that dream came true on Thursday for the Mumbaikar when he was handed his Test cap ahead of the third match against England by no less than former captain Anil Kumble with his father Naushad watching tearfully. As was expected, he proved his worth with a half century which could have been a bigger knock if not for the run out at non-striker’s end following a mix up with unbeaten centurion Ravindra Jadeja.

The 26-year-old was, however, too happy to have any complaints.

”Coming to the ground for the first time and getting the cap in front of my father. I was six-years-old when he started my cricket (training). It was my dream to play for the Indian team in front of him,” Sarfaraz told the media here after the end of day’s play in which India were 326/5.

India’s Test cap No 311, Sarfaraz gave a fine account of himself with a rapid 62. Naushad was overwhelmed on Thursday. He had not even planned to visit Rajkot to watch his son but landed in the city on the eve of the game. Tears, hugs and joy swept through the Khan family with Sarfaraz’s wife present beside his father.


”I was padded up for almost four hours (in the dressing room). I kept thinking that I have kept so much patience in life and there is no harm in keeping some more.

”After I went in, I was nervous for the first few balls but I have practiced and worked so hard that everything went well,” Sarfaraz said detailing his Test experience. Sarfaraz said runs and performances did not matter to him as much as playing for India with his father there to watch him. ”It was my father’s dream to play for India but unfortunately it couldn’t happen due to some reasons, there wasn’t much support from home then. He worked very hard on me and is now doing the same with my brother. It was the proudest moment of my life,” he said. ”Runs and performances were not on my mind as much as I was happy playing for India in front of my father,” he added. ”He was not ready to come (to Rajkot) but some people insisted that he goes. Obviously he had to come over since he worked so hard only for this day.” ”He was very emotional as I took the cap in front of him and so was my wife. I felt as if some pressure was off my shoulders given the hard work he had put in on me and I did not waste it,” he stated emotions still raw after a whirlwind day. Sarfaraz banished initial nervousness with powerful sweeps and lofted hits down the ground but termed his dismissal — the run out at the non-striker’s end — a case of ”miscommunication”.

”It is a part of the game. Miscommunication happens in cricket. Sometimes run-out happens, sometimes you get the runs,” he said. ”I spoke to Jadeja at lunch time and requested him to talk to me while playing. I like talking while playing. It was my first time. ”I told him that when I go out to bat, keep talking to me while playing. He kept talking and supported me a lot while I was batting,” Sarfaraz added. It is not easy for any player to keep trudging through years of domestic cricket, piling up runs year after year and not get a chance in the national side. When he finally got it, Sarfaraz said the taste of international cricket was almost similar to domestic, but with a few obvious differences.

”Initially I was feeling awkward since it has been a long time in anticipation. But later on I felt that I have done all of this, once I was in my zone I did not find it difficult,” he said.

”Difference is there, you do not have crowds in first-class cricket and you do not come across national players much,” he added.


Udayavani is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel and stay updated with the latest news.