Pranav Dhanawade - 15-year-old from Kalyan, Mumbai - shattered the world record for the highest individual score on Tuesday. A mammoth innings of 1009 saw Pranav become a star overnight as the likes of BBC, the Guardian carried articles on him. It would have been, undoubtedly, surreal for the kid.
But nothing could have matched the gift Pranav received from the legend, the master himself, Sachin Tendulkar. On Thursday, the official BCCI Twitter handle released a photograph of Pranav proudly displaying a signed Adidas-brand bat owned by Tendulkar. The autograph read: "Dear Pranav, Keep up the hard work and enjoy the game!"
The stuff childhood dreams are made of.
— BCCI (@BCCI) January 7, 2016
Praise from all quarters have been pouring in for Pranav ever since the record-breaking innings. Mahendra Singh Dhoni and star batsman Ajinkya Rahane on Tuesday congratulated him for his world record-shattering innings of 1,009 not out in an H.T. Bhandari Cup Under-16 inter-school tournament match.
In fact, Tendulkar was the first among the cricketers to laud Pranav's efforts.
"Congrats #PranavDhanawade on being the first ever to score 1000 runs in an innings. Well done and work hard. You need to scale new peaks!," Tendulkar had posted on his Twitter handle.
Pranav's epic 323-ball knock consisted of a staggering 59 sixes and 129 fours. His team, K.C. Gandhi High School, declared their innings at 1465 for 6 with Pranav remaining unbeaten at 1,009.
He batted for 395 minutes and had a strike rate of 312.38. The youngster broke a 116-year-old record after surpassing 652 on Monday, thus taking over the reins of the highest individual score (including minor cricket) from A.E.J. Collins of England.
"It is not a joke. It is serious business. It is a tremendous effort to score 1009 runs in an innings. The talent he has needs to be nurtured in the right direction. His parents and coach need to guide him well as this talent needs to go a long way,” Dhoni had said before leaving for Australia tour.
On Monday, the teenager also crossed Prithvi Shaw's innings of 546 scored two years ago in a Harris Shield match, an innings that had previously been the highest individual score in any form of cricket in India.
“I wish him all the best and hope he will carry on doing well. For me, batting for so long, I would have been bored myself. He has done it,” the 2011 World Cup-winning skipper said.
Rahane also praised the 15-year-old and hoped to see him play for India in future.
“Good luck and congratulations to Pranav for this feat. 1009 runs is difficult to say and he has scored it. I hope he plays this way and I want to see him play with us in the national team in future. I will advice him to stay focused and practise and concentrate on his batting and do well,” Rahane said here.
Harbhajan was equally effusive in his praise for the wonder kid.
"well played...no matter what levels cricket it is but numbers are just unbelievable. another @sachin_rt in making?" he tweeted.
With inputs from IANS