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6-year-old Quetta 'prodigy' aspires to be next Shane Warne, gets maestro's attention

March 25, 2018

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Eli, along with his father and coach, at a park close to their residence in Quetta. ─Photo credit: Abdul Waheed
Eli, along with his father and coach, at a park close to their residence in Quetta. ─Photo credit: Abdul Waheed
6-year-old Eli Mikail from Quetta practices cricket for two to three hours daily. ─Photo credit: Abdul Waheed
6-year-old Eli Mikail from Quetta practices cricket for two to three hours daily. ─Photo credit: Abdul Waheed
Eli's father had a pitch constructed at a park close to their home in Quetta for his son to practice on. ─Photo credit: Abdul Waheed
Eli's father had a pitch constructed at a park close to their home in Quetta for his son to practice on. ─Photo credit: Abdul Waheed

Quetta's six-year-old Eli Mikail has left his countrymen — and quite a few global stars — in awe of his amazing talent for spin bowling.

The young prodigy's claim to fame is his successful imitation of the style and techniques of world-renowned Australian leg-spinner Shane Warne.

Mikail first impressed cricket lovers across the globe when a video of him practicing went viral on social media. Viewers said they were stunned by the six-year-old's ability to bowl googlies and leg breaks with immaculate accuracy.

His growing fandom tried to draw the attention of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and Shane Warne to the talented boy.

Warne soon took notice, tweeting praise for the child's talent:

"I want to become [just like] Shane Warne in the future," Mikail told DawnNewsTV while he played with his father in a small park in Quetta's Chiltan Town area.

"I want to wear the green shirt one day and represent Pakistan," the young boy said.

It was in January this year that Mikail first started playing cricket.

Abdullah Khan, his father, recalls feeling that Mikail had been "blessed with a natural talent".

"His hands were too small to grab the ball," Khan, who also coaches Mikail, narrated.

"When he first took up a ball and tried to bowl, his action resembled a lot like Shane Warne's," Khan remembered.

"I was amazed to see my son copying the world-famous spinner. Since then, Mikail practices daily and is improving gradually," he revealed.

The young boy plays cricket with his father in a small park outside their house, where they have prepared a small pitch.

"Mikail practices daily for two to three hours," Khan said.

The father said that his son usually remains quiet and focuses more on cricket.

"Even in school, Mikail mostly talks about cricket with his classmates," he added.

"My father urges me to also give time to studies," Mikail told DawnNewsTV.

Khan says he has a deal with his son.

"I have told him that if he keeps performing well in academics, I will make every effort to make sure he becomes [the next] Shane Warne."