It was my dream to play for the Indian team in front of my father: Sarfaraz Khan

Tags: England tour of India 2024, India vs England 3rd Test at Rajkot, Feb 15-19, 2024, India, England, Sarfaraz Naushad Khan

Published on: Feb 16, 2024

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An emotional Sarfaraz Khan said that his childhood dream was fulfilled as he batted in front of his father on Test debut. According to Sarfaraz, as a six-year-old, his dream was to become an international player in front of his dad.

The 26-year-old made his Test debut for India against England at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Rajkot on Thursday, February 15. It was an impressive entry to Test cricket for the Mumbai batter as he smashed 62 off 66 balls, hitting nine fours and a six.

The debutant was looking good for a bigger score, but was run out by a direct hit from Mark Wood following a mix-up with Ravindra Jadeja, who was batting on 99. The duo featured in a 77-run stand for the fifth wicket before Sarfaraz’s impressive debut innings came to an end.

Speaking at a press conference after the opening day’s play, Sarfaraz opened on what the much awaited Test debut meant to him. "Coming to the ground for the first time and getting the cap in front of my father. I was six-years-old when he started my cricket (training). It was my dream to play for the Indian team in front of him,” he said.

"It was my father's dream to play for India but unfortunately it couldn't happen due to some reasons, there wasn't much support from home then. He worked very hard on me and is now doing the same with my brother. It was the proudest moment of my life. Runs and performances were not on my mind as much as I was happy playing for India in front of my father," he added.

The batter also revealed that his father was hesitant to come to Rajkot, but finally decided to go after some people insisted. Images of Sarfaraz’s father and wife getting emotional went viral on social media in the morning.

"He was very emotional as I took the cap in front of him and so was my wife. I felt as if some pressure was off my shoulders given the hard work he had put in on me and I did not waste it,” the emotional cricketer said.

The debutant had to wait for a long time for his turn to bat. Jadeja (110*) was sent into bat ahead of him and added 204 for the fourth wicket with skipper Rohit Sharma (131). Admitting he was nervous when he went into bat, Sarfaraz said, "I was padded up for almost four hours (in the dressing room). I kept thinking that I have kept so much patience in life and there is no harm in keeping some more. After I went in, I was nervous for the first few balls but I have practiced and worked so hard that everything went well.”

He also downplayed the incident that led to his run-out, stating that such things are part and parcel of the game. "It is a part of the game. Miscommunication happens in cricket. Sometimes run-out happens, sometimes you get the runs.”

India went to stumps on Day 1 in Rajkot at 326/5 after 86 overs with Jadeja and Kuldeep Yadav at the crease.

--By A Cricket Correspondent

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