Fast and furious UP migrant beats poverty, plays true to his name
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Mohammad Amir Khan is a bowling talent with a boxer's temperament Mohammad Amir Khan has a pretty appropriate name. Stop at the first two names, Mohammad Amir, and you get who he is: a nippy, talented, left-arm seamer — just like his Pakistani namesake, but minus the taint that the other man now carries.
Take the last two names — Amir Khan — and you get an idea of the Mumbai lad's skills with the cricket ball: he loves to knock out opponents with a good smack to the face, rather like his namesake, currently Britain's finest boxer.
With a name like that, and a reputation for crushing helmets and fracturing egos, it's difficult not to create a buzz. Young Amir has made Mumbai's willow-centric nurseries sit up and take notice by making it to the 15-member city squad for the Buchi Babu tournament — without having played a single age-group match yet.
The pre-season tournament, at which top national teams play their first XIs with an eye on the Ranji Trophy, starts this weekend. Amir, the boy from Uttar Pradesh, has somehow beaten the revered system of juniors rising through the ranks.
Like most migrants who come to Mumbai, life for Amir has been full of back-breaking struggle. "One day, if things go my way, I hope to give back to my family all that they have sacrificed," he said.
Born in a farming household well below the poverty line, Amir left home at the age of 15 to pursue his cricketing dream. And the first roadblock appeared as soon as he arrived in Mumbai.
One of the ground rules of Mumbai Cricket Association is that all cricketers from outside Mumbai must ply their trade in local leagues before they become eligible for selection to an age-group team of the state. So Amir went about offering his cricketing talent to any club that wanted him, on the many maidans of the city.
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