TALENT UNLEASHED – “PARSI CRICKETER SHINES”
Arzan Rohinton Nagwaswalla, in an exclusive interaction with Zoroastrian Connection, reveals an interesting insight to his success story.
Parsi cricketer, Arzan Nagwaswalla made our community proud, with a stupendous bowling performance, representing Gujarat, that bamboozled Mumbai in their own den Wankhede Stadium. Arzan (Bawa to his teammates) came up with a five-wicket haul (5/78) and also indicated with resonating conviction that it is a long way to go as far as cricketing legacy of the Parsis is concerned.
“I just don’t want to play for India, but become a regular member of the squad” says the cool & composed Arzan to Zoroastrian Connection. Below are the major excerpts of his interaction with us:
Ques : A little about yourself.
Ans : I am Arzan Rohinton Nagwaswalla, born on 17th Oct 1997, in Shahpore area, Surat, son of Mr. Rohinton Ratanshah Nagwaswalla and Mrs. Maheru Rohinton Nagwaswalla. I belong to a small village called Nargol in Valsad near Umergaon.
Ques : What motivated you to play professional cricket and since what age?
Ans : My passion towards cricket motivated me and I started playing since 16 years of age, which is probably quite late.
Ques : Who are your role models and your coach?
Ans : My role models are Zaheer Khan and Wasim Akram and yes I have a personal coach whose name is Kiran Tandel who himself is a Ranji Trophy Player.
Ques : What is your practice schedule and where do you practice?
Ans : Due to my college timings I could not go for practice in the morning, but in the evening hours I practice for about 2 hours followed by gym or running . During vacation I practice 2 times a day.
Ques : What are your future goals and ambitions?
Ans : Every cricketer wants to play for India but I don’t just want to play for India but become a regular member of the squad.
Ques : Do you see any challenges to achieve your goals ?
Ans : We will find a new challenge everyday, but my plan is just to remain calm and give sincere efforts towards cricket.
Ques : How about your studies ?
Ans : I am studying in T.Y.B.B.A in SSR college Silvassa.
Ques : What is your message to the youngsters?
Ans : I would just like to say that enjoy yourself in whatever you are doing.
Arzan is very focused and clear on his way to the Top. Parsis have played an important part in Indian cricket history. Parsis were the first Indian side to visit England in 1886. Parsis such as Farrokh Engineer, Polly Umrigar, Nari Contractor, have played for the Indian cricket teams over the years. The last big name being India women’s captain Diana Edulji. At Gujarat state level, the last name we heard was Jal Unwalla way back in late eighties/early nineties.
The youngster has not played club cricket, but he has trained under former Ranji Trophy players. “There are no clubs. My village Umbergaon is on the border of Maharashtra. We had a few Ranji players at our place and I worked under them. I got interest and then the opportunities one after another.” said Arzan to the media earlier.
Arzan isn’t aware if whether Parsi cricketers still play cricket in domestic circuit. “Mine is not a cricket background. I knew there were Parsi players, who played for India and I know some names. However, I don’t know about the current situation…who is playing or not.”
“I am the youngest player in my town. Not many from my community are left back there and they have either moved to Mumbai or migrated elsewhere,” said Nagwaswalla to the media earlier.
Arzan Nagwaswalla is the youngest member of the well-populated Parsi community in the village of Nargol, situated a few kilometers from the border town of Umbergaon in Gujarat. In fact, he’s the only one of his entire generation who’s stayed back. The rest, he reveals, left for the greener pastures of Mumbai a long time ago. The family’s reason to not follow suit was his cricket. It’s a sport that the left-arm medium-pacer had picked up at an early age from his elder brother Vispi. It’s a sport that his community once dominated and pioneered in the country before losing ground to such an extent that Parsis in cricket became a misnomer.
Nagwaswalla’s decision to stay put paid dividends as he emerged rapidly through the junior ranks in Gujarat. And then last week, he landed up in a city, where Parsis incidentally once held major sway over what was their sport, to send back half the Mumbai batting line-up on Day One. But it was Nagwaswalla who came back to put an end to it, on a day a Parsi dominated Mumbai in Mumbai, to rekindle one of Indian cricket’s oldest love affairs.
Former India wicketkeeper-batsman Farokh Engineer, who was the last Parsee cricketer to represent the country, expressed his concern over Parsees losing interest in playing serious cricket. However, Engineer would be delighted to note that Gujarat’s Umbergaon-based left-arm pacer Arzan Nagwaswalla became the first Ranji Trophy Parsee cricketer after Mumbai’s Zubin Bharucha, who played from 1992 to 1995. The last Parsi gentleman from Gujarat, who played all major tournaments including for Gujarat University, which makes players eligible for Ranji selections was Jal Soli Unwala, now a noted High Court lawyer.
Arzan brings in lots of god gifted talent, is determined and very passionate towards his love for the game. We wish him all the success for his future and look forward to seeing him play for our motherland India soon.
May Ahura Mazda Bless him always! USHTA TE.
A few photos of Arzan: