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After Sarfaraz, Musheer Khan is on the way to live his Abu's dream

The younger son of Naushad Khan has been scoring big runs in age-group cricket for a long time but his Ranji Trophy heroics have brought him into the spotlight

Published: Mar 15, 2024 06:13:59 PM IST
Updated: Mar 15, 2024 06:22:12 PM IST

After Sarfaraz, Musheer Khan is on the way to live his Abu's dream(File) Musheer Khan of India makes runs during the ICC U19 Men's Cricket World Cup South Africa 2024 Super Six match between India and Nepal at Mangaung Oval on February 02, 2024 in Bloemfontein, South Africa. Image: Alex Davidson-ICC/ICC via Getty Images
“Shukur Allah ka! (All thanks to Almighty),” said Naushad Khan, a proud father, as he ran alongside photographers to capture Mumbai’s Ranji Trophy victory celebration on Thursday at Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai.
His younger son, Musheer Khan, was named player of the final for his stellar hundred, helping Mumbai win its 42nd Ranji Trophy title. As the son joined his teammates for the celebration, Naushad handed the cheque and trophy to the ballboys to ensure he captured every moment himself.

Naushad’s passion towards cricket and his sons is unmatched. While he was running around like a photographer, the conversation among reporters at the venue was about how a Bollywood movie about the Khan family would soon come out and would mostly definitely be titled ‘Abu’. The story of Naushad and his two sons–Sarfaraz Khan and Musheer Khan–indeed sounds like a Bollywood movie script.
Naushad dreamed of playing for India but due to several reasons, he couldn’t. He decided to live his dream through his sons and made every effort to turn his dream into reality. Just last month, his elder son Sarfaraz Khan made his debut for India in the Test series against England after years of hard work and waiting.
However, this hasn’t made Naushad sit back and relax at all. He is still working equally hard with both of his sons. While Sarfraz, after his debut, is looking to cement his place in the Indian team, Musheer seems to be peaking at the right time. The 19-year-old had an impressive ICC U-19 World Cup 2024, where he finished as the second run-getter with 360 runs in seven matches.
He then rushed to join the Mumbai Ranji Trophy team in the quarter finals and straightaway made a statement with a brilliant unbeaten double-ton (203* off 357) against Baroda. He had been scoring big runs in the age-group cricket for a long time but it was his first big knock at the senior level. Baroda had a decent bowling line-up but he made them look ordinary with his exceptional technique and temperament.
His double century steered Mumbai to the semi-finals, where they faced a strong Tamil Nadu side. This time Musheer got an opportunity to showcase his left-arm spin bowling. He bowled really well in the first innings, ending up with figures of 7-2-18-2. Then, with the bat, he struck a vital 55-run knock.

Also read: Fluent and fearless: Sarfaraz Khan's long road to a dream debut
Now, Mumbai made it to the finals and faced Vidarbha at Wankhede. Ranji Trophy, being the oldest and most valuable Indian domestic tournament, still holds huge importance, especially for young cricketers. Playing the final of a tournament where 38 teams compete is doubtlessly an exciting event but brings performance pressure too. But Musheer looked nonchalant despite it being his first Ranji final.
“I had no pressure at all. Mujhe sirf tab pressure hota hai jab Abu net ke peeche se dekh rahe ho! (The only time I feel pressure is when my father is watching me bat at the nets),” Musheer told Forbes India on the sidelines of the Ranji Trophy final.
The right-handed batter scored a crucial hundred (136 off 326) in the second innings of the final, ensuring Mumbai enforces a huge lead on Vidharba. He came out to bat with Mumbai being reduced to 34-2 and built a huge partnership, first with skipper Ajinkya Rahane and then with Shreyas Iyer. He made the most of having an elder brother who has done it at this level.

“I spoke to Sarfaraz (Khan) and he gave me a good idea of how this wicket would work. It is always lovely to talk to him about the game. We enjoy seeking each other’s suggestions and feedback,” Musheer said.  
On third day of the match, veteran Sachin Tendulkar paid a visit to the stadium to watch the match and luckily for Musheer, he got a chance to register his hundred in front of the “greatest cricketer of all time”.
“I saw Sachin sir is watching and it was an amazing feeling. Having the greatest cricketer of all time in the stands when you are batting is definitely an honour. I wanted to do my best,” Musheer remarked.

After Sarfaraz, Musheer Khan is on the way to live his Abu's dreamMusheer Khan celebrating with his team after Mumbai beat Vidarbha by 169 runs on 14th March at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.
Musheer not only scored big but also broke Sachin’s 29-year-old record to become the youngest player for Mumbai to score a hundred in the Ranji Trophy final. The youngster earned praise from Sachin after the day’s play.
“Mumbai displayed a lot more discipline, patience and commitment in the second innings. First, a crucial partnership between Ajinkya Rahane and Musheer Khan put Mumbai in a solid position. Then, Musheer's stand with Shreyas Iyer has taken the game further away from Vidarbha. Had a good time watching the game today,” Tendulkar tweeted on Tuesday.
Musheer later picked up two wickets as Mumbai won the championship by cruising past Vidarbha by 169 runs. While this performance in the Ranji Trophy final has brought the spotlight on Musheer, his journey began much earlier.
Initially, he would just sit around and watch his father train Sarfaraz, but as he grew up, he fell in love with cricket. Seeing his father and brother’s dedication towards the game, Musheer too wanted to be part of the grinding process.
The whole family spent hours in Mumbai maidans, training and working on different things. They trained together and Naushad made sure both his sons got better with each day. Musheer first played for Mumbai U-16 and then U-19 and U-23 sides.
His all-round abilities made him stand out. He was just 17 when he made his Ranji Trophy debut for Mumbai in 2022. But in the last two years, he has improved his game even more and seems set to make it to another level.
“I and my father’s dream is to see me play for India but I am not looking too far ahead yet. I just want to make sure I do my best in every game and most importantly get to enjoy my cricket,” Musheer said.

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