Until he hogged the limelight after lifting the U-19 World Cup, very few people know that Team India captain Prithvi Shaw originally hails from Bihar. After the team’s historical victory over Australia Biharis were feeling proud of only Anukul Rai of Samastipur who emerged as joint top wicket keeper of the championship.
But those who knew about the roots of Shaw rushed to his home in Manpur block, famous for powerloom industry, in Gaya district, to greet his grandfather Ashok Gupta with sweets and flowers. locals played Holi and burnt crackers in entire locality and particularly in Shivcharan lane where Gupta runs a small cloth shop called Balaji cut piece.
Shaw’s father Pankaj Gupta, who later adopted the title of Shaw, went off to Mumbai in search of job as Ashok Gupta said he was very frustrated with bad business in Manpur. In Mumbai Pankaj, the only son of Ashok, got some job and took his family too there. Prithvi is his only son and had keen interest in cricket since his very childhood.
Sexagenarian Ashok Gupta recalled, “A few months back when I went to Mumbai for a surgery Prithvi was all complaining. He told me that he has become captain of U-19 but I did not congratulate him. I said you win the world cup and entire world will congratulate you. Finally this happened and I know no bounds of happiness.” Possibly Chief Minister Nitish Kumar too did not know about the roots of skipper Prithvi. The CM phoned Sudhakar Rai, the father of Anukul Rai, who lives in Rosera in Samastipur district to congratulate him.
In Samastipur too people were over excited to observe the achievement of their son and Holi was played at Patel Maidan, from where Anukul learnt the basics of cricket, under the presence of his cricket guru Brajesh Jha.
Sudhakar Jha said he wanted his promising son to be part of senior Team India. “Anukul is younger to four brothers and sisters and started playing since 2005. He was selected in the district team and later in state team. But since there was hardly any scope in Bihar he shifted to Jharkhand and started playing for East Singhbhoom. He was later made captain of U-19 Jharkhand team,” he said.