A friend of mine rang me up this morning just to share a piece of information which was very heart touching. He said that in a local Hindi daily, a story has been published – that the son of a tea vendor from Sultanpur district of Uttar Pradesh has been selected to play in an under-14 cricket event for Mumbai!
Within a short span of time, when I got hold of the newspaper – and I was little surprised. Not only did the news prove true, but Rashtriya Sahara, a prominent news paper published from Delhi and Uttar Pradesh, has also published the story on the front page. This appears to be very positive development for the overall growth of the game of cricket in India!
Ritik Sharma, the son of a tea seller, has been selected for the Polly Umrigar Championship trophy. Ritik Sharma is a student of seventh standard in Albarkat school, in Kurla Mumbai. Former Indian cricketer Gulam Parker is the coach of the school.
In the 2013 under-14 Giles shield organized by the MCA, Ritik played for Albarkat school, wherein Arjun Tendulkar – the son of the legend Sachin Tendulkar had also participated! Arjun represented the Dhirubhai Ambani School. In that event, Albarkat school became the champion and Ritik Sharma had got the man of the match award. Ritik has been included in the Mumbai under-14 team on the basis of his excellent performance in the above referred tournament. Ritik’s father, an undergraduate, belongs to a lower class family of UP, makes both ends meet by running a local tea stall. His wife is however a graduate. Ritik is the youngest among the three children.
As a child, Ritik had shown his interest for the game of cricket. Though initially his parents wanted him to become a doctor, but looking at his passion for cricket, they started sending him to the Pant stadium in Sultanpur. There, he was nourished under the guidance of Asad Ahmed, who plays for railways. Asad Ahmed encouraged Ritik’s family to send him to Mumbai to tap his talent.
Later, Ritik was sent to his grandfather who is living in Mumbai. There, his Grandfather and maternal uncle not only encouraged to pursue the game, but also provided financial assistance so as to enable Ritik to follow his dream. The moral of the story is that the passion for the game in this cricket mad county is beyond imagination! But equally thrilling is the fact that the parents are now not only supporting their wards’ dreams, but are ready to do anything possible for the desire and obsession of their wards!
It is too early to say anything about the future of the boy, but it is very heartening to note that players from all walks of the life are being given a chance in sports. They are able to showcase their talent and this is certainly a very healthy sign for the future for Indian sports. Best wishes to Ritik Sharma.