Arslan Khan contemplates Ranji's debut for Chandigarh after reaching 5 tons in one day

CHANDIGARH Arslan Khan (not Narnia's fairytale lion but true deep magic) does not need the height of Chris Gayle or the one built by David Warner to exploit oppositions for fun.

The 5-foot, 4-inch left-handed left-handed Chandigarh opener stormed the one-day domestic trophy for children under 23. His 699 races in 11 innings included five centuries and two fifty, which made him the best hitter in the tournament and led his team to the semifinals, where they lost to the eventual Bengal champions.

Responding to critics who argued that playing in the Plate Plate helped him accumulate those races, he came up with a century full of stoke against a strong Vidarbha in the quarterfinals. TOI met the 20-year-old pocket dynamo during the Ranji de Chandigarh Trophy camp at the Government Senior Model High School, Sector 26.

Enjoying a very good season, so far, he said: I also have a call for Ranji Trophy's camp. It can't improve. The goal is to keep scoring runs and enter the side of Ranji Trophy. . He has played all of his junior cricket for Himachal Pradesh and even led the state's Under-19 team, but since Chandigarh rejoined the Cricket Control Board in India (BCCI), Khan has decided to move home.

It was an easy decision. Chandigarh is my home, he said, my family is here and I have played most of my cricket here.

Lucky brother

Born in a business family with three older brothers, Arslan entered the cricket to avoid homework. With a smile, Arslan remembers that story: Shahnawaz bhaiya (third brother), who used to play cricket at the university level in Chandigarh, asked me if I had an interest in cricket and I said yes because I was never good at studying. He took Sukhwinder Bawa, who has trained Yuvraj Singh and present the team coach Chandigarh Ranji V R V Singh.

Bawa, published at the Tau Devi Lal stadium in Gurgaon, was in town to attend a performance. He looked at 12 Arslan and told Shahnawaz that he would take him to Gurgaon. Arslan said: Tell a student that he doesn't have to study but just play, what else he wants, so he was also excited. Those five years in Gurgaon with Mr. Bawa formed me as a cricketer.

It's another story of how he dealt with nostalgia. He said: The first six months were more difficult, but staying with Mr. Bawa and his family helped. They never treated me like a stranger. I became his family.

Coach Finding

Like any athlete, Arslan sees a father figure in his coach, who nevertheless shows no mercy in the cricket field. Bawa said: I saw him play only three installments and I knew he had a spark. I was surprised to leave the first ball to the wicketkeeper. In general, 12-year-old boys try an aggressive first shot during the trial to impress the coach, but he blocked the next two balls, playing forward and defense only. I was impressed.

Bawa went to Arslan's father, Zabih Ullah Khan, who runs a tailor shop in Sector 17. It took him a while to convince him to let his son move to Gurgaon. Then people began to make fun of Bawa for keeping a Muslim child in his house. Bawa recalled: I told them I was human first. I protected him as best I could. Those things have happened and I have never shared them with anyone until now. I'm glad your bat is talking. Bawa wanted to say more but his voice drowned.

Space selector

Meeting Arslan makes you wonder how the little partner scores so many races and at a fast pace. Coach Sukhwinder Bawa says that his appearance has fooled many bowlers.

When asked to analyze his game, he said: He is not a power hitter, but he can choose holes at will. His timing is good and, knowing its limitations, never bets on a big hit until it is well established in the fold. It's not Gayle (Chris), Cook (Sir Alastair) or Warner (David). It resembles perhaps Kock's South African wicketkeeper Quinton. Arslan has the coup of Quinton.

Whats Next

Arslan's greatest strength is not his ability to send a good ball that crashes into the fence or jump on the grass and tear a ball out of nowhere. It is his confident arrogance that sends a warning to opposition bowlers. He knows well that he should not become overconfident. His age certificate could say that he has just turned 20 with the potential to play international cricket, but he has the mature head to focus first on breaking into Chandigarh's side.

One can only hope that he will continue playing for the love of the willow gathering leather, the sound he appreciates.