‘At the age of 10-12, he hit senior bowlers for four sixes, crowd was thrilled’: Coach on young MI player’s potential

Mumbai Indians have shared a video on their Twitter account of young rising star Arshad Khan and his coach, Abdul Kalam Khan, revisiting stories from Arshad’s years as a young cricketer and how he was always an aggressive batter even growing up.

The snippet uploaded on Twitter was taken from the Mumbai Indians YouTube series called ‘Kal Ke Sitaare’, and the fourth episode of the series sees Arshad Khan, who had played 3 List A games for Madhya Pradesh so far, talking to his coaches and family about playing cricket. Hailing from the town of Gopalganj in Madhya Pradesh, Arshad says he would have to travel to the bigger city of Seoni everyday, back and forth, with his father, a teacher in a government school.

His coach Abdul Kalam Khan then talks about how he gave Arshad the opportunity to play with boys above his age group. “The senior players within the group started laughing, about how I can play a 10-12 year old kid in that old a team. There at that age he hit senior bowlers for four sixes, and the entire crowd was appreciating him.”

Arshad continues the story. “I was quite young, and the others were much older. The fact that I was a child, they said ‘Who have you brought?’ I couldn’t even see the first two balls. After that, I swung my bat and connected,” says the left-handed all-rounder. “It went and landed in a school beyond the field. The entire crowd started cheering. That gave me a lot of confidence, so I went an hit 2-3 more sixes.”

Arshad explains why he was so confident about his ability. “We were playing with a tennis ball, and that does nothing on a cement pitch. So I knew that, and was looking only for sixes. Sometimes I would hit six consecutive sixes, sometimes I would hit ten, this happened quite often with the tennis ball.”

Arshad, a left-arm bowler, explained how his childhood icon was Zaheer Khan, and how glad he was after being picked up by the Mumbai franchise and get the chance to work under the former India pacer’s guidance. Mumbai have a history of spotting young talent, such as the Pandya brothers and Jasprit Bumrah, and developing them into IPL stalwarts. They will hope Arshad can develop into something along the same lines.

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