In the ongoing Test match between India and West Indies, the world saw a special player, whose batting style, temperament has made everyone a fan of his. From Bollywood celebrities to biggest cricket stars, everyone is talking about him, calling him the future of Indian cricket. But very few people know about the unbelievable struggle of the player - Prithvi Shaw.
The young 18-year-old has gone through a lot to make it big. And today, we will tell those untold stories which changed Prithvi's perspective about life.
Politician whom Prithvi calls 'Kaka'
One day, a local Shiv Sena corporator Sanjay Potnis was in MIG club, Bandra with his friends. Coincidentally, Prithvi was also practicing there at that very time. Potnis was very impressed with Prithvi’s batting ability. But he became very emotional when he got know about the daily struggle of Prithvi to become a cricketer.
As Potnis was himself someone who was very good sportsman in his school/college days, but failed to get the proper support, he understood Prithvi’s life struggles. Potnis decided to support and fund this budding player's career so that one day he can achieve his dream. Prithvi started living with Sanjay Potnis’s family at Vakola.
30 Ballers and Daily 50 overs practice
Sanjay Potnis runs supremo foundation club. In his early years, Sanjay Potnis used to take Prithvi to his club playground for practice. Training session used to start from 7 am. Potnis told Republic that, 'there was at least 30 ballers in his club who used to bowl him one by one'. Throughout the day, Prithvi used to face almost 50-60 overs. This had become routine for Prithvi.
"Whenever he plays on the ground, his body language was different, he behaved like a matured man but once his practice got over & he returned to home then he becomes a normal school going children” recalls Potnis.
Still can’t believe Prithvi passed SSC exam- Potnis
Sanjay Potnis had assigned his wife to take care of Prithvi’s studies. “Cricket was important for Prithvi’s career but we can’t avoid his studies,” says Potnis. Prithvi was a very good player but when it came to studies, he was an average student.
"We enrolled him in classes for SSC as it is difficult to clear board exam. We only wanted him to pass the SSC exam, doesn’t matter if he get 35 percent but when he came home with 10th mark sheet and showed it to my wife, we all were surprised as he got 62 percent. He didn't appear for 12th exam as he was on tour at that time," Potnis added.
Prithvi Speaks very good Marathi
Prithvi comes from a Marwari family, who migrated from Bihar’s Gaya district to Virar. Since the age of 9, Prithvi has been living with the Potnis family. As Prithvi’s mother passed away when he was just 4 years old, Sanjay Potnis’s wife took care of Prithvi like a mother. In the last 9 years, Prithvi not only became an integral part of the Potnis family but he also learnt to speak fluent Marathi.
Even after success, his feet on the ground
To get success and fame at an young age is difficult, but to remain on the ground is even more difficult. Since the age of 13, Prithvi has been continuously in fame. He scored the century in debut match of Ranji trophy and Duleep trophy. He was captain of under-19 Indian team which won the World Cup.
Now, he scored a superb century in his debut Test match against West Indies. When Potnis called him in the evening after he scored a century, Prithvi spoke to him very humbly. Potnis says,
"It is difficult to believe how can a teenager remain so grounded even after getting so much success after success. Maybe his struggle not only made him a good cricketer but also a good human being who understands what is poverty & how to value & respect someone’s favor."