'Please don't compare me with Tendulkar'
Sarfaraz Khan first surpassed Sachin Tendulkar's record to hit the headlines. The 12-year-old cricket prodigy now wants to meet the batting great in person to achieve his long-cherished dream.
Sarfaraz, who slammed 439 in the Harris Shield to better Tendulkar's inter-school unbeaten knock of 346, showed maturity beyond his years as he dismissed any comparison made between him and Tendulkar.
"Sachin is my idol and I consider him as my 'Guru'. Please don't compare me with him," the Rizvi Springfield student said on Friday.
"Even if I achieve one per cent of what he has achieved, I would be blessed. Meeting him is my dream, please write this," he insisted.
Image: Sarfaraz Khan
Sarfaraz smashed a record 439
Clearly uncomfortable with his overnight celebrity status, Sarfaraz said he had, in fact, fainted after giving a series of interviews on Wednesday.
"It feels great to be chased by the media, but they tend to go a bit overboard," he complained.
"I fainted after completing my media assignments at 11 pm last night. More than the time I spent at the crease, it has been the media interactions that has tired me out," said the Mumbai cricket talent, who scored a mammoth 439 off 421 balls during a 456-minute vigil against a hapless Indian Education Society Secondary School.
His knock, which contained a staggering 56 boundaries and 12 sixes -- nearly a triple hundred in itself -- is the highest in the tournament, beating the earlier record of 427, set by Sanjeev Jadhav in 1963-64.
In the process, Sarfaraz also went past his idol Tendulkar's 346 not out, which the master batsman had scored for his school, Shardashram Vidyamandir, when he, along with friend Vinod Kambli, added a record 664 runs for the third wicket in February 1988, a world record for any level of the game.
Image: Sarfaraz Khan
Naushad hopes son Sarfaraz can live his dreams
Sarfaraz's heroics has also allowed his father Naushad Khan, himself once a probable for Mumbai's Ranji Trophy squad, to live a dream that he had once seen for himself.
"I could not make it to the Mumbai squad that was led by Sachin Tendulkar, and had Sameer Dighe as the vice-captain. Hence, I am making sure that he does not make the same mistakes that I did," said Naushad, who also coaches Sarfaraz.
"I never let him practise with boys of his age group. He practises with senior players, like Kamraan Khan [a Rajasthan Royals player in the IPL] and Iqbal Abdulla and Rahil Sheikh [both Mumbai Ranji players]. Playing against them will make him tough as nails and prepare him for the higher level," he adds.
However, the feeling that his son has become a star overnight is yet to sink in for Naushad, who is busy fixing media appointments for him.
"Instead of so much happiness at one time, I would have preferred it in installments. All I pray is that you guys [media] let him stay rooted so that he can achieve more glory," he said.
Image: Sarfaraz Khan with his father Naushad