Prithvi Shaw opens up on doping ban, says time away from cricket was torture

Written by Abhishek Patil

Late 2018 saw Prithvi Shaw earning the big call-up for the Indian Test team as he made the transition from being India U19 cricket team captain to donning the Indian jersey in the longest format. Having made his debut against West Indies against whom he also bagged his maiden Test ton, things went downhill for Shaw an injury ruled him out of the Australia series. A doping ban soon followed as the young batsman was suspended for 8 months.

Though the Mumbai-based cricketer admitted making a mistake, he also asserted that one has to be extremely careful when it comes to medicines as even a cough syrup could land the person in trouble.

“You have to be careful about what you consume. Even a simple drug like paracetamol. This is for all the young cricketers out there who aren’t aware about these things. Even if you take a small medicine, you must get it approved with your doctor or the BCCI doctors. It’s better to ask the doctors about the banned substances and take necessary precautions so that you don’t get into trouble,” Shaw was quoted as saying by Times of India as he opened up on the doping ban.

Explaining how one minute mistake got him suspended, Shaw revealed that it was all because of a cough syrup he took. He further described the time away from cricket due to the suspension as torture.

“Like in my case, I had a cough syrup which I didn’t know was a banned substance. I have learnt a lesson from this and will not repeat it. Even if I am having a basic medicine, I run that through the BCCI doctors to ensure that there are no banned substances in it. Time away from cricket was a difficult period for me. It was a torture. It should not happen to anyone,” said Prithvi.

Many are of the opinion that Shaw got carried away after early success in his career in the form of U19 World Cup title and century on Test debut. The 20-year-old, however, has rebuffed the claims suggesting there were both controllable and uncontrollable things that led to an early setback in his carer.

“Yes, winning the U-19 WC and then hitting a century on my Test debut were really big moments for me, but I don’t think I got carried away. Some things like the doping ban were within my control, but things like the unfortunate ankle injury (suffered in 2018 in Australia) were not in my control,” Shaw asserted.

“I have realised that I cannot keep 100% people happy all the time. However, I know that criticism is also a part and parcel of life. The idea is to take constructive criticism positively and keep on improving. 2019 wasn’t that great, but there’s always a silver lining to things. I just want to respond to all of that with my bat. Difficult times are a test of one’s character as well. I’m thankful that I have my father, close friends and my management agency, Baseline Ventures, which has stood by me through thick and thin.”

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Abhishek Patil