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Virar to Mount Maunganui: U-19 captain Prithvi Shaw's journey to the top

His first coach Santosh Pingulkar recalled the days when he had spotted talent in the captain when he was just three years old

Press Trust of India  |  Virar 

Prithvi Shaw, ICC U19 Cricket World Cup
Captain of U-19 Indian cricket team Prithwi Shaw

As he became the of the nation for leading to a dominating U19 triumph, Prithvi Shaw's first today recalled days when he had spotted talent in the when he was just a three year old.

The youngster's cricketing journey started in a modest town of near but avenues kept opening for him as he grew as a

"came to me when he was around three years old. It was a co-incidence when I first spotted him playing on a municipal corporation ground first. I had come to from Aurangabad to take permission for the local ground when I saw him play there," told reporters.

"No one was taking him in Mumbai, saying he was very young. We enrolled him in our He was our first student," he added.

Shaw studied at the here, but later shifted to Rizvi school in Mumbai, where he got ample opportunities to prove himself and showcase his talent.

"He was at the till 2nd-3rd standard and then was shifted to Rizvi school (in Mumbai), but he stayed in till he was 12 years, recalled Pingulkar, who still coaches students here.

remembered that he first saw Shaw playing a few drives and felt that something was special about the toddler.

"He was just playing some drives when I spotted him first. When I saw him at three, I felt that there is something and so I spoke to his father (Pankaj Shaw). He joined our academy in September 2002 and started coming regularly to me, Pingulkar said.

"He started playing for his school and coming for practice. After he shifted to Rizvi, he used to come for practice in the evening. Later it became difficult for him to commute in the (suburban) train. Local MLA arranged a flat for him there (in Mumbai) and looked after him..," he added.

According to the coach, when Shaw was around seven years old, Pingulkar felt that Shaw had the potential to become a big player.

"When he was 8-9 years old he played the CPCC tournament organised by Chandrakant Pandit's academy. At nine we sent him for selection for U-14, he got selected for the second round, but in the third round was stopped as he was young."

"We then got him enrolled to Rizvi. Where he got many opportunities got selected for U14 when he was 10 years old..," the recalled fondly minutes before his pupil grabbed the U19 trophy.

Pingulkar remembers that Shaw was very patient and he batted last in the nets so he could get to play for more time than the others.

In 2006 Shaw experienced playing on turf-wicket for the first time. He shined in several local tournaments it was then that Pingulkar decided his pupil needed to move to

"Then we shifted to another ground in Yashwant Nagar in 2006, he got an experience to play in turf wickets and then starred in local tournaments and we thought he needed a bigger platform and hence took the decision to shift him to Mumbai, he said.

After moving to Mumbai, Shaw played for MIG, soon he was selected for the U-19 team and the rest is history.

"It is sure that he will play for It is his luck, that he got a coach like Rahul Dravid, who gave him an opportunity," Pingulkar added.

First Published: Sat, February 03 2018. 19:20 IST