Jodhpur. Shahrukh comes from a middle-class family where education has always been given preference, but he decided to pursue cricket, defying the set norms. His family was not very impressed by his dream of becoming a cricketer. Shahrukh had always been very dedicated towards sports.
Every day at sports day, he would compete in athletes and excel there. This increased his interest in athletes. He began competing at a school level, then moved on to inter-school, and finally was selected to represent his school at the state-level under-16 tournament. There he won total 8 gold medals and 2 silver medals and was voted Best Athlete of the Tournament.
He competed in national-level tournament and received two bronze medals, one in 100 meters and one in the long jump. He was invited by tata groups of athletes but at that same time, he was playing his first leather ball tournament at his school where he scored a century in his first match. He chose cricket and declined Tata Groups.
A few days after that, he was selected for Jodhpur's Under-15 team. His team performed captured the top spot. Seeing his potential and enthusiasm for the game, Pradyot Singh, his best friend suggested Shahrukh join the local club.
Shahrukh's cricketing style transformed drastically after he joined the cricket club. Mr. Narendra Sharma and Mr. Nitish Sharma, who were his mentors in the club, helped him develop his skills. The Jodhpur team selected him for an Under-17 tournament where he excelled as batsman and bowler. He was not selected in the team but he didn’t give up.
After completing his 12th, Shahrukh applied to some of the top colleges in Delhi. He got call letter from St. Stephen’s college for trial. In the trial, he won the first prize. Shahrukh also gave the trial for Greg Chapel’s camp. He was selected there along with Pradyot. They both used to kick their ass off just to be better in a sport each day. According to the schedule of the camp, it was supposed to run for over a year. So, Shahrukh was again put in a position to choose between Cricket and athletics. Finally, he declined the acceptance letter sent by St. Stephens college.
He took admission to Jodhpur University and kept on training in the camp for over one and a half years. That camp brought impeccable changes in his cricketing skills. In 2009, Shahrukh participated in an Under-19 tournament, he was the most wicket-taking bowler of that tournament. This led to his selection in the Under-19 Rajasthan team. Rajasthan team was supposed to play in Bhopal, but they didn’t get chance due to certain political issues.
In this period, Shahrukh had completed his graduation. He chose to study law so that he could devote more time to cricket. But his family wanted him to go into RAS competition. He then joined Pradyot for preparation and stopped playing cricket. After one year, Shahrukh started MBA and got himself enrolled in Pacific college, Udaipur. He played cricket for the college and even became the captain of the team. He played club cricket as well at, in addition to his studies.
After completing MBA, he started looking for jobs. He got selected at a few vacancies but he didn’t take the job because they needed 3-4 years commitment. Later, he got shortlisted for the position of legal officer in Tata Motors, in Pune. He made up his mind to move to Pune to continue with the job.
Just a few days before leaving for Pune, he was spending some time with Pradyot, when one of their common friends, suggested them to open cricket academy. They knew they had to give a shot at this idea. This led to foundation of Spartans Academy. Western Rajasthan was not connected with the cricket world and Shahrukh and Pradyot were determined to bridge that gap. And it happened in the form of students like BhanuPhania, Shubhamgarhwal, SahilBhaskar, Shoaib Khan, DeepaliYadav, and SurenderBishnoi played for different clubs on an international as well as national scale. Ravi Bishnoi was selected in the under-19 Indian Cricket Team. Many international players have visited Spartan Cricket Academy over time including DilipVengsarker, Aakash Chopra, ParvindarAwana, and SadananVishwanath.
With determination and dedication, Shahrukh came very close to his dream. Even though he couldn’t play for the national team himself, today he is helping more than 300 hundred students across 4 branches of the Academy, to full fill their dreams. He was adamant to not give up and worked hard to achieve his childhood dreams. Shahrukh’s story teaches that, “When life is knocking you down, get your best guard up and when you get that ball raise it out of the stadium for six.” PWR PWR