Teenage Cricketer Creates Record with 498 Runs

Mumbai, Dec 23 (IANS): With feet firmly on ground, the new cricketing sensation of this megapolis, 13-year-old Arman Jaffer Thursday signed his first autograph and determined to strive harder to live up to the rising expectations.

"I am elated to sign my first autograph and I hope and pray for many more to come. But I will strive hard to perform to match the expectations of autograph seekers," said Arman.

Arman shot into limelight after scoring a phenomenal 498 runs off 490 balls Wednesday in his school's U-14 Giles Shield match against IES Raja Shivaji Vidyalaya in south Mumbai. His knock saw his team amassing 800 runs and grab an easy win. Arman broke several records on way, including the highest score of 461 in an innings in school cricket by Nagpur's Ali Zorain Khan.

A student of Rizvi Springfield High School in suburban Bandra, Arman is said to be strong willed and a dedicated student besides being a focused batsman.

"I have been coaching Arman since the last five years. He is very disciplined and follows a strict schedule of training during the school hours and after that," said Raju Pathak, his coach.

Arman, who aspires to remain unbeaten in each of his innings has also been trained by his father, Kalim Jaffer, who has been coaching several teams for over two decades. Arman is also the nephew of former India Test opener and Mumbai Ranji Trophy skipper Wasim Jaffer and it is no coincidence that one finds a reflection of Wasim's style in Arman's batting.

"Several cricketers have trained under me, including Wasim, Mussavir Khote, Sahil Kukreja, Murtuza Hussain, Vijay Singh and Azam Pandit," Kalim said.

"As for Arman, this is just the beginning. As a proud father, I want to see him in the Indian team and have a long and fulfilling cricketing career."

Arman's younger sister, nine-year-old Fatima also plays cricket. "I have also trained my daughter. She, too, is a good cricketer," said a proud Kalim.

Arman, however, was initially disappointed by missing the 500 mark just by two runs. "But then, this is cricket. Everything is possible here. I will be more focused next time," he said.

Despite his coach's and his father's advice to stay calm, Arman said he got a bit excited once he started nearing 500 runs.

"But, this is just the beginning. I know I have a long way to go. I will continue to follow a strict training regime and try to live up to the rising expectations of people around me," he said.


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