Mumbai: Suresh Raina certainly won’t remember meeting Hyderabad cricket coach Salaam Bayash or any 12-year-old at the HCA Stadium in Uppal in 2014. Chennai Super Kings were to face Sunrisers Hyderabad the next day and Raina spoke to 12-year-old Tilak Verma for five minutes and posed for photographs with him. Now eight years later, the batting of 20-year-old left-handed batsman Tilak Verma would certainly bring happiness to Raina’s face. Tilak Verma also hit a six off Ravichandran Ashwin with a reverse sweep. Recalling that day, Bayash said, ‘A friend of mine was the local manager. I helped him to get permission to watch the practice and took Tilak with me. Regarding his disciple who was included in the team of Mumbai Indians, this coach said, ‘I remember Tilak was very impressed to see Suresh Raina batting. He did not take his eyes off her even once and looked at every shot of Raina. After that we posed for a picture with him and I think that special meeting with Raina was enough for Tilak to decide that he would become a cricketer.
Mumbai Indians suffered a loss against Rajasthan Royals but Tilak grabbed everyone’s attention with his 61-run knock. Head coach Mahela Jayawardene also praised him. Tilak Verma’s father works as an electrician and believes that getting a contract of Rs.17 million will help him give a better life to his parents.