Depression, the blight that has its talons sunk across the world, can melt the doughtiest of persons. Only a few emerge stronger, but it takes mental toughness and doggedness. Sarfaraz Khan and younger brother Musheer, the young cricketers of Mumbai, seem to have those qualities in abundance. They not only overcame a tormenting 2019 but notched up career best performances in the season that ended in March.
Even as Sarfaraz was serving a one-year cooling-off period in 2018-19 season to qualify to represent Mumbai again on his return from Uttar Pradesh after five years, the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) banned Musheer for three years for indiscipline. As the blues slowly consumed Musheer, their father-cum-coach Naushad too succumbed to depression. The three faced a bleak future in cricket—the only thing the family lives for. But, guided by a doting Naushad and some psychiatric therapy, how the two boys have returned with stronger resolve and renewed vigour! They scored runs and dismissed batsmen almost at will, playing with steely determination. Hard-hitting middle order batsman Sarfaraz, 22, finished the Ranji Trophy tournament with the highest average in India—154.66—while plundering 928 runs in six matches, comprising a fabulous, unbeaten triple and a double century. Sarfaraz, who had hammered a record 439 for Rizvi Springfield in a Harris Shield inter-school match in 2009, chipped in with cameos for the Mumbai under-23 team for the CK Nayudu Trophy.