Arjun Tendulkar and Pranav Dhanawade, arguably the most famous cricketing kids in the country, are in the news again. But the reason is, quite frankly, ridiculous.
For starters, this is the image that is circulating on social media. Fair chance that you have already received it on some Whatsapp group of yours.
pic.twitter.com/YIo5ouqcoF— Pramod Speaks (@PramodSpeaks) May 31, 2016
And there is lengthy report on NDTV talking about the injustice too — going to the extent of saying how Pranav’s case is similar to Eklavya in Mahabharatha.
Outrageous, right? The gross injustice of it all! The privilege that comes with the surname Tendulkar!
First of all, one must be wary of anyone who says ‘Please, RT!’. Those are the ones most capable of spreading misinformation.
And second of all, and this is where it gets tricky, Arjun Tendulkar DID NOT GET SELECTED TO THE INDIAN UNDER-16 TEAM. He was picked to be a part of the U-16 West Zone squad for the inter-zonal tournament in Hubli that started on May 24.
(As an aside, Pranav’s innings of 1009* needs to be put into context. It was against tiny, 10-12 year olds, who were playing only because the seniors were not available. Some of them had not played on a full-sized pitch before that fateful day. The ground was tiny. Nearly 25 chances were missed.)
And here’s the kicker. Pranav Dhanawade, is not even eligible for selection to the squad, based on the criteria set by MCA. Who says that? Pranav’s father, of course.
Speaking to Firstpost, Pranav’s father Prashant Dhanawade explained:
The selection for Mumbai’s U-16 team happened before Pranav’s record. They had also played a few matches. So since Pranav didn’t feature for the Mumbai U-16 team, he cannot be a part of the West zone side, that’s the procedure.
Pranav, who recently turned 16, played that innings of 1009 *AFTER* the Mumbai team had been selected, thereby rendering him ineligible for selection while Arjun was already part of the team.
Classic case of facts coming in the way of a good ‘story’!
Thankfully, it sounds like people surrounding Pranav, like his father and coach, have reacted very sensibly to the incident, calling for calm.
Mubin Sheikh, Dhanawade’s coach told DNA, “Pranav still has time. Maybe another two years to even make it to the U-19 team. We don’t need to pressurise him. Just let him enjoy the game.”
Pranav’s father also said that the two kids are good friends, which we hope, remains the same way.
These kids are going to under enough scrutiny as such, and the last thing they need is for fabricated stories to come in the way of their careers.