To make a debut so spectacular that the name enters record books is nothing short of extraordinary.
Sakibul Gani, playing for Bihar, smashed an astounding 341 in the Ranji Trophy Plate Group match against Mizoram on Friday to break the world record for the highest individual score on first-class debut.
“He became the 1st batter to score a triple ton on First Class debut,” says the Twitter handle of BCCI domestic.
🚨 RECORD ALERT 🚨3⃣4⃣1⃣ Runs4⃣0⃣5⃣ Balls5⃣6⃣ Fours2⃣ SixesSakibul Gani, playing for Bihar, created a world re… https://t.co/toIc7GF9DV
— BCCI Domestic (@BCCIdomestic) 1645190227000
It is quite likely that wannabe cricketers across the state would now draw inspiration from his feat.
The 22-year-old, who hit 56 fours and two sixes to get to 341 off 405 balls, hails from the state’s East Champaran district, where his triple ton the previous day is being raved about at almost every street corner.
“Sakibul is the youngest of four siblings and he showed a passion for the game since his days at the Zilla school”, reminisces his father Adnan Gani at their house in Agarwa, a modest locality on the outskirts of Motihari, the district headquarters.
Their home is, not surprisingly, teeming with visitors who are received by the proud father and Azma Khatun, the mother of the 22-year-old.
Congratulations to Sakibul Gani for a solid performance in his debut Ranji Trophy match.Keep it up. https://t.co/B7C7cF7mwL
— Sachin Tendulkar (@sachin_rt) 1645256242000
“May my son attain the heights of glory. May he play for India one day,” mumbles the demure homemaker who proudly states that the boy “always worked hard and did not neglect his studies in the pursuit of sports”.
Her face gets flush with motherly affection as Khatun goes on and on about “Mera laal“, now a lanky youngster who sports a small beard on his handsome face.
Adulation, and even stardom, awaits the young man whose achievement must have caught the attention of the high and the mighty in the state.
“Congratulations to Bihar’s Sakibul Gani, who created a world record by becoming the first batsman in the world to score a triple century on first-class debut,” tweeted Tejashwi Yadav, a former deputy CM and the current leader of the opposition.
Yadav, incidentally, was an aspiring cricketer who retained a passion for the sport.
Congratulations to Bihar’s Sakibul Gani, who created a world record by becoming the first batsman in the world to s… https://t.co/Y9RobE2EM1
— Tejashwi Yadav (@yadavtejashwi) 1645207014000
Congratulatory tweets have also come from Pramod Kumar, state minister and Motihari MLA, besides Alok Ranjan, who holds art, culture and youth portfolio, which is also responsible for sports in a state.
However, Gani’s elder brother Faisal, who was the first one to notice the spark in the younger siblings, evokes pathos as he articulates the very low expectations he has from the system.
“I just want the administration to help us with a proper cricket ground. My brother, like numerous other boys with similar prowess, had to make do with a patch of land in the Gandhi Maidan here”, he said.
The state has, in the recent past, been in a celebratory mood over IPL sensation Prithvi Shaw and national team rising star Ishan Kishan, both of whom have roots in Bihar.
Neither of them had, however, represented the state team.
With Gani making his mark as a Bihar team batsman, residents of the province have a reason to hope that the state machinery will shed its indifference towards sports and lend its weight to nurturing its rich pool of talent.