Prithvi Shaw is a "fighter" and will come out of his eight-month doping suspension stronger, says Santosh Pingutkar, who taught him the ABC of cricket long before he became his most famous ward. The BCCI on Tuesday banned the talented 19-year-old opener from all forms of cricket for failing a dope test.
A release from the Board said Shaw had "inadvertently ingested a prohibited substance, which can be commonly found in cough syrups". He childhood coach Pingutkar called it a setback.
"He (Prithvi) is a fighter and will definitely come out of it. He has worked hard (to reach the top)," said Pingutkar, who first imparted lessons to a young Shaw at Virar, a suburb around 60 kilometers from Mumbai.
It was under Pingutkar that Shaw, who had led India to U-19 World Cup victory in New Zealand and also made a hundred on Test debut against West Indies, learned the basics of the game. Shaw's father Pankaj had taken him to the coach, who runs an academy.
"Definitely the setback is huge, but I have the confidence that he (Shaw) will come out of it," added Pingutkar.
Shaw's suspension is retrospective in nature, starting from March 16 and ending on November 15, which rules him out for India's home series against South Africa and Bangladesh. Senior columnist Makranad Waingankar, who has played a formidable role in shaping Prithvi's career, said that there was nothing to worry and everyone makes mistakes in life.
"Cough syrups are dangerous. Prithvi Shaw should have known it because all players are given list of Do's & Don'ts by BCCI's anti doping committee. He will come out of it. Everyone makes a mistake. Nothing to worry," tweeted Waingankar, who was also a cricket administrator.
Meanwhile, sources in the know said that Shaw, while he was with the Mumbai team, had not informed anyone about the medicine that he took to cure cough. Shaw had also accepted his fate and said the news about his suspension had shaken him.
"I accept my fate with all sincerity. While I am still nursing an injury which I suffered during my last tournament, this news has really shaken me," Shaw had said in a statement. "Cricket is my life and there is no bigger pride for me than playing for India and Mumbai and I will come out of this faster and stronger," he stated.