India U-19 star Shaik Rasheed ready to fulfil father’s dream in U-19 World Cup 2022
One of many fine young talents part of India’s existing U-19 crop set to play the forthcoming U-19 World Cup in the Caribbean is middle-order right-hand batter Shaik Rasheed. The 17-year-old cricketer, born in Guntur, Andhra Pradesh, has had an impressive rise through to the U-19 Asia Cup and the World Cup.
Rasheed made a name for himself with an invaluable knock of 90 not out in India U-19’s victory over Bangladesh in the semi-final of the junior Asia Cup on Thursday (December 30). Having had a tough time in his previous few innings of the competition, the right-hander made amends and displayed his class and potential in a crunch game.
After performing well in the recent months through the Vinoo Mankad Trophy, the Challengers Trophy and the youth tri-series involving Bangladesh, Rasheed has earned his selection for the U-19 World Cup. In a match against India B U-19s on his way to the World Cup squad, Rasheed blasted a fantastic 125.
Like other promising young cricketers coming from the nooks and corners of a widespread country like India, Shaik Rasheed’s story is also one of the struggles, sacrifices and the hardwork made by the player and his strongest confidant. In Rasheed’s case, that unwavering support has come from his father Shaik Balisha.
Balisha, who used to do a bank job in Guntur to sustain his livelihood, called it quits to focus on ensuring his son got the right amount of training and exposure. Balisha left his job, recognising that his son is finding it tough to get adequate practice and improve as a cricketer. All this, while having to manage the expenses through his previous savings.
Father’s sacrifices push Shaik Rasheed to U-19 World Cup
In a recent interview, Balisha confirmed that his son also had to tackle depression very early in his life as he found himself rejected following poor outings at both the U-14 and U-16 levels in Andhra. Shaik Rasheed considered giving up the sport at this point in life, having let the seed of doubt and disappointment spring up within his head.
But once again, it was Balisha who came to Rasheed’s rescue. He persuaded his son not to give up and rejuvenated his cricketing career. Rasheed resumed training hard and went on to climb up the ladder through the U-19 age bracket. Firstly for Andhra Pradesh and then India.
Today, as his son sets his eyes on a memorable World Cup in the West Indies, Balisha reminisces of the times when Shaik Rasheed used to play in the neighbourhood and shatter the glasses with his explosive strokes. Seeing the notorious kids do their thing, people in the neighbour houses encouraged Balisha to get his son admitted to a nearby cricket academy. After an initial search for proper coaching in Guntur, Balisha shifted with Rasheed to Hyderabad where the batter got his entry into the Cricket Academy of Andhra Pradesh.
Balisha has two sons but elder of the two is more interested in studies. Once he was clear which boy of his holds cricketing ambitions, Balisha put all his passion for the game into Shaik. Balisha said he wanted to play cricket for India but couldn’t pursue it seriously for a variety of reasons. With that in mind, all he wants is his son to play cricket with his heart and soul and go on to represent the country one day.
Balisha also said Shaik’s cricketing idol is current Indian Test captain and all-format global cricketing star, Virat Kohli. Junior Rasheed got the chance to meet the great VVS Laxman when he was aged only 8 and received a tournament award for his performances in Andhra. An interaction with Laxman only further inspired him.