Prithvi Shaw's record 546 in a Harris Shield under-16 school match on Wednesday is already drawing him comparisons with the great Sachin Tendulkar. The 40-year-old Tendulkar, who retired from cricket on November 16, used the famous Harris Shield as a platform and his February 1988 664-run stand with Shardashram Vidyamandir schoolmate Vinod Kambli is now part of cricket folklore. Fourteen-year-old Prithvi, who is a Class IX student in Rizvi Springfield in Bandra (West), has been balancing cricket and studies, much like his idol, Sachin, who criss-crossed Mumbai's cricket pitches on his coach's scooter to get the best practice. (Read: Love Sachin's cover-drive)
Like Sachin, cricket is oxygen to Prithvi, too. The 14-year-old lives and breathes cricket. After Prithvi lost his mother at the tender age of four, his father, Pankaj, not only raised him but helped hone his cricket skills. When the sea breeze was cool and fresh and dawn was breaking, Prithvi would wake up at 4:30 am, pack his kit and school bags and step out to take the 6am train to the MIG ground in Bandra for training. The 90-minute journey from Virar, a middle-class Mumbai suburb, became part of his daily routine as dad and son lived a dream, very much like Sachin and his coach Ramakant Achrekar.
In 2010, Prithvi, all of 11, caught the eye of former Mumbai left-arm spinner Nilesh Kulkarni, whose sports management company signed him up for an annual stipend of Rs 3 lakh. There was more help forthcoming when a corporator offered the talented boy and his family a flat in Santa Cruz. It considerably reduced travel time and helped Prithvi focus on his cricket and of course, studies. (Read: Why schoolboy Prithvi Shaw is trending in India)