Arzan Nagwaswalla was not even born when Farokh Engineer – the last Parsi cricketer to feature in the Indian men’s team – contested his last test for the country in 1975.
But the 23-year-old left arm middle pacemaker from Gujarat made history on Friday when he was appointed as a standby for the trip from India to the UK – for the World Championship final in testing and the series of tests against England.
The youngest member of a Parsi community in the village of Nargol, Nagwaswalla is the first Parsi cricketer to enter the Indian men’s team since 1975. While the engineer played his last test for India in 1975, Diana Edulji’s last match in the women’s team happened July 1993. “It’s an opportunity I’ve been waiting for a long time. Now that I have it, I am very happy, ”said Nagwaswalla Sports star after the team’s announcement on Friday.
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Having learned the basics of the sport from his older brother, Vispi, at an early age, Nagwaswalla broke into the Gujarat squad in the 2018-19 season. He rose to fame with a five-wicket shot against Mumbai at Wankhede Stadium. Even though the cricket fraternity took note of his performance, the youngster was largely inconsistent.
But he found his mojo during the 2019-20 Ranji Trophy season, scalping 41 wickets. Even though there had been no Ranji Trophy last season, the youngster managed an outing in the Vijay Hazare Trophy for Gujarat with 19 wickets. And that got him a place on the Indian side.
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“The goal would remain the same – I want to stay focused and trust my skills. I believe in the process and will continue to do so, ”Nagwaswalla said.
While most of his teammates were in the IPL, the youngster had a long break after the Vijay Hazare Trophy and he made sure he was up for any challenges. “I knew that every time I had a chance, I would make it count. I keep telling myself that it is okay to wait, whenever a chance presents itself, I will prove my worth, ”he said.
Nagwaswalla is also happy that after nearly four decades a Parsi cricketer has reached the men’s national team. “It’s good to be part of the community. The people I know are happy and have stayed in touch. It’s a great feeling, ”he said.
“It’s been a really great trip so far, everything I’ve done so far is part of the process. So if you follow the process wisely, the results will follow. “
Nagwaswalla can’t wait to meet her heroes. “I can’t wait to meet all the cricketers and learn a lot from there,” said the youngster.
The engineer, who was the last Parsi cricketer to play for India’s men’s team, was delighted with the inclusion of Nagwaswalla. “This is fabulous news, and I’m so happy that a Parsi boy has finally made it to the Indian team. His ambition should be to play in the final XI, ”said the engineer. Sports star from Manchester.
“I don’t want to see him just as a stand-by player or a net player. I would love to see him open the bowling alley for India one day. The fact that he arrived in the team proves that he is very good. He should aim to do better, ”said the former Indian wicket keeper.
PARSI CRICKETERS PLAYED FOR INDIA
Phiroze edulji palia
Sorabji Hormasji Munchersha Colah
Khershed Rustomji Meherhomji
Rusitomji Sheriyar Modi
Jamshed Khudadad Irani
Keki Khurshedji Tarapore
Pahlan Ratanji Umrigar
Entrepreneur Nariman Jamshedji
Rusi Framroze Surti
Rusi Jeejeebhoy – Reserve Guardian – Tour from India to the West Indies, 1971
Arzan Nagwaswalla – On standby