Sarfaraz Khan has shed light on the tough lifestyle the likes of himself, Prithvi Shaw and Yashasvi Jaiswal had to endure in Mumbai and added that it helped mould them into tough characters. Sarfaraz further attested that it was important to treat the ongoing break like an injury lay-off.
After catapulting into fame as a teenager with Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the IPL, Mumbai youngster Sarfaraz Khan, after four tough seasons, finally had his breakthrough in the 2019/20 Ranji season, where he scored 928 runs at an average over 150, a campaign that included a triple-century. However, in his thus far short career, the youngster has seen more lows than highs and has shown incredible mettle and mental strength to bounce back from setbacks.
Speaking to Sportstar, the 22-year-old revealed that his tough upbringing in Mumbai played a huge role in moulding him into the tough character he is today. The youngster also took the names of his Mumbai teammates Prithvi Shaw and Yashasvi Jaiswal and pointed out the pain they had to endure as kids and attested they learnt things the hard way.
“In Mumbai, we learn the hard way. Prithvi, Yashasvi and I have played a lot of cricket in Azad Maidan. It is a very difficult ground to learn cricket. The wickets aren’t that good and after doing the hard yard there, wickets in Wankhede and other grounds seem lot more easier,” Sarfaraz told Sportstar.
“Yashasvi has lived in Azad Maidan. At times, I have slept the night on the pitch and then, caught the first train back home. The hard work of travel, hunger and passion to do well in Mumbai makes you a tough character.”
Sarfaraz, who was retained by the Kings XI Punjab franchise ahead of the 2020 season, added that it was weird to not be playing in the IPL, but insisted that it was important to treat this unprecedented break as an injury lay-off in order to stay in the right frame of mind.
“It felt weird not to have the IPL definitely. I am also feeling bad that the entire world is going through anxiety. It feels sad because there are so many sportsmen who are worried.
“It (the break) is similar to serving an injury layoff. If a player picks up a shoulder injury, he will have to sit out for five months. It depends how you take to it mentally.”
The youngster, who has been often criticized for not keeping up with the standards of fitness, revealed that he’s been staying fit by running on agricultural fields and doing weight training with the help of his father.
“There are agricultural fields here. So I can run freely. Not too many people around. I do it in the evenings as we have the Ramadan in the morning. I do one day of long-distance running, followed by a short-distance one, then agility and weight training with the help of my father,” Sarfaraz concluded.