Shah Rukh Khan might be on a sabbatical post his last flick Zero, but his namesake is making waves on the cricket pitch for Tamil Nadu. The 24-year-old batting all-rounder from Chennai has been playing the finisher's role to perfection in the ongoing Vijay Hazare Trophy.
Named after the Bollywood superstar, thanks to his aunt who is a die-hard SRK fan, Masood Shahrukh Khan slammed 48* (39 balls) against Rajasthan and 69* (45 balls) against Bengal, in the company of his skipper Dinesh Karthik, to help Tamil Nadu make it six wins out of six matches so far in the tournament.
Khan is no flash in the pan. He has had a promising start to his career in age-group cricket, having being named the MVP of the inaugural edition of the Junior Chennai Super Kings tournament in 2012. He grabbed attention with both bat and ball—he scored 624 runs and took 18 wickets—in the Cooch Behar Trophy ahead of the 2014 U-19 World Cup.
But, surprisingly, he was overlooked for the India U-19 squad. Khan was shocked by the snub, but his father, brother and personal trainer Azhariah Prabhakar helped him overcome the disappointment. In 2014-15, he made it to the Tamil Nadu Ranji squad but he made his debut only in 2018.
But it was a memorable debut. Tamil Nadu were tottering at 81/5 against Kerala, before Khan came to the crease and made an unbeaten 92 off 155 balls to take his team to a respectable 268. He also contributed a valuable 34 in the second innings to help Tamil Nadu beat Kerala by 151 runs.
The same year, Khan grabbed eyeballs at the Tamil Nadu Premier League, scoring 325 runs in nine innings at a strike-rate of 141.30 for Lyca Kovai Kings. He threw his hat into the ring at the IPL auctions, but found no takers. If he continues in his rich vein of form, who knows Shah Rukh Khan, who is the owner of Kolkata Knight Riders, might sign up the Shahrukh Khan from Chennai!
Sharing name with the Bollywood biggie had its down side, too. His opponents would sledge him using it and more often than not he became the subject of amusement at airports and at other public places when his name was announced. But Khan has now learnt to take it in his stride now.
Surprisingly, the self-confessed Rajinikanth fan, reportedly, admires Salman Khan more than SRK!
In cricket, however, he is a big fan of New Zealand captain Kane Williamson and yesteryear Pakistan great Inzamam-ul-Haq.