March 29, 2020
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Sadiq Hassan Kirmani

Sadiq Hassan Kirmani
Satish Kumar
Sadiq Hassan Kirmani
Sadiq Hassan Kirmani, 12, wicketkeeper-batsman: This Class VII student has already got two centuries for his school team in the Pepsi under-12 tournament. The son of arguably India's greatest keeper, Sadiq turned in an incredible performance in the Pepsi final, carrying his bat for 115, plus three catches and two stumpings! He is the reserve keeper in the Karnataka under-14 team.

It's interesting to watch Kirmani train Sadiq with a baseball bat, much narrower than the willow to help the lad middle the ball. "I've taught him the basics of wicket-keeping, but he's at the nets with senior Karnataka players. I'll fine-tune his game after a year or two," says Kirmani. Meanwhile, Sadiq's mother, Habiba, carries the boy's favourite dishes to the ground—idli and vada for breakfast and biryani for lunch. Says she: "I missed one match when he got a hundred. But I'm sure I'll see another soon." School coach N. Sashidhar says the boy is a good keeper considering he's only 12. "He must now work on his fitness in the next couple of years."

Azharuddin's son Abbas, 12, is also playing for his school and is being coached by Arshad Ayub. That leaves only nine, ten and jack. An interesting cricket team, this.
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