Sohaib reaches Dhanbad station from Calcutta on Friday. Picture by Gautam Dey
Abled, but differently is how Dhanbad’s Mohammed Sohaib chooses to see himself.
Sohaib (17), son of veteran football player Mohammed Murtaza, has brought laurels to the district by becoming the first hearing impaired cricketer from Dhanbad to make the cut to the Indian squad that played in the 2nd Asia Deaf Cricket Club in Pakistan.
Sohaib, who returned to Dhanbad via Calcutta on Friday, told The Telegraph (his father was his interpreter) that though he had not received an opportunity to play in the final XI in any of the matches, the experience had been enriching. “Five teams participated in the meet in which Pakistan emerged as the winner defeating Sri Lanka. My son was the youngest in the Indian squad,” Murtaza said.
He went on to add that Sohaib had received a pat from the selectors for his excellent showing at the trials that was held in Punjab from October 4-6. The teenage prodigy had been hailed as the best upcoming talent at the selections.
“Being a soccer player I wanted my son to take after me. But he was not very interested and took to cricket instead. I got him enrolled at the Jharkhand Cricket Academy, Jamshedpur in 2010,” a beaming Murtaza said.
He added that Sohaib had also represented Dhanbad in the state U-16 cricket tournament that was played in May this year.
The road to success for the right-handed batsman, he claimed, had been plagued with injuries.
“He picked up several injuries during practice. On one occasion he dislocated a finger. One other time he was hit in the abdomen leading to a blood clot. Had I not been a sportsman, I would have asked him to give up cricket. Instead, I nursed him back to health and egged him on to prove his worth,” Murtaza, BCCL’s chief football coach said.
Secretary of Dhanbad Cricket Association S.A. Rahman too hailed Sohaib as a fighter who had brought glory for the entire district.
“His selection in the Indian cricket team will certainly encourage other players to work hard and try and carve a niche for themselves at the national level,” Rahman told The Telegraph.