New Delhi: Having Sachin Tendulkar as an idol and speaking of a belief in hard work is no extraordinary trait to swear by for any Indian. After all, who does not love Sachin and who in today's world hasn't heard lectures on hard work paying off from parents, teachers or elders?
What makes these ordinary traits extraordinary is that not every Indian batsman manages to break world records with ease and grace.
Neither does every aspiring cricketer in school devastates bowlers by scoring a mammoth 1,000 runs in a single innings. Not one has done it in any form of cricket yet let alone a 15-year-old teenager.
Yes, not every cricketer is Pranav Dhanavade.
This Mumbai teenager today scripted history by becoming the first cricketer ever to notch up a four-figure score by smashing an unbeaten knock of 1,009 in an inter-school tournament. Pranav's knock included 129 fours and 59 sixes during the match at the Union Cricket Academy ground in Kalyan.
"I set myself a target of 50 runs at a time and went forward achieving the targets one by one," Pranav told India TV. Pranav's legendary effort helped his school declare at 1465/3, a record for the highest ever team score. Pranav's school, K C Gandhi, went past the previous international record of Victoria's 1,107 against New South Wales made in 1926.
Despite the magnificent feat, Pranav exudes a humility that personifies his humble beginnings. Pranav comes from an ordinary family in Kalyan. Son of an autorickshaw driver, he has been playing cricket since he was aged five and has been coached by Mobin Sheikh.
Considering the financial restrictions of the family, Mobin has been coaching Prashant for free. For Pranav, who is also preparing for his class X exams, his biggest achievement was that he piled on the runs in the presence of his father Prashant, who rushed to the ground from work when Pranav's score neared 300 runs.
"Sachin Tendulkar is my favourite cricketer," a chirpy Pranav says, who got a pat on the back from none other but the former Indian cricketing wonder Sachin after achieving this mind-boggling feat. And what is Sachin's advice to this child prodigy? Keep working hard and scale new peaks!
Though just a teenager, Pranav's feat is extraordinary due to the confidence he exudes that is backed by pure determination and grit. "I was confident of my success because I had worked very hard for it," he says and adds a piece of advice that many of us tend to sideline in our lives and spheres of work. "Hard work always pays off with good dividends. Everyone should work hard."
His school coach Harish Sharma vows by the youngster's claims. "Pranav has always been a hard-worker," says Pranav's school coach Harish Sharma.
"I always had full faith that he will win laurels some day. Today, Pranav has made me and the entire school extremely proud," he added.
Pranav grabbed attention on Monday when he scored 652 runs, breaking the 117-year-old record for the highest score in an innings held by AEJ Collins, who smashed an unbeaten 628 in a club match in England in 1899.