FAMILY PORTRAIT: Kaif’s family enjoys the limelight in AllahabadHOME FRONT The son of Uttar Pradesh Ranji Trophy player Mohammed Tarif, now a train ticket collector, and Kaiser Jahan, cricket runs in Kaif’s family, with his elder brother Saif also turning out for the state in the Ranji Trophy.The story of,FAMILY PORTRAIT: Kaif’s family enjoys the limelight in AllahabadHOME FRONT The son of Uttar Pradesh Ranji Trophy player Mohammed Tarif, now a train ticket collector, and Kaiser Jahan, cricket runs in Kaif’s family, with his elder brother Saif also turning out for the state in the Ranji Trophy.The story of how his father, a heart patient, and his mother went to watch Devdas when Kaif came in to bat at Lord’s is famous; few know that brother Saif did watch the cricket and ran over to the hall during the interval to tell his family what had happened.When mother spoke to Kaif, the first question she asked him was, “Beta Honey, Ganguly tere upar chad gaya tha, tujhe chot toh nahin lagi (Didn’t you get hurt when Ganguly jumped on you like that)?”COMING OF AGE At 12, Kaif joined a sports hostel in Kanpur to pursue cricket. He worked his way up the ranks in junior and Uttar Pradesh cricket, a boy driven by ambition to prove that cricketers from his state could make it big time.The Lombard Under-15 World Cup of 1995, where India beat Pakistan in the final, was the time Kaif’s name began to circulate on the national stage. He then led India to victory in the Junior World Cup 1999, and has since kept knocking on all the right doors.GROWING GAINS: Kaif (sitting extreme right) in his early daysPORTRAIT “Kaifu” to his teammates, India’s new “finisher” is one of the fittest players in the team. When the team first introduced “bleep”tests for endurance, Kaif topped the minimum level of 11 set by the physio, reaching a level of 14. As his other teammates struggle with dietary restrictions, Kaif chuckles – he’s one of the rare few who has been told to put on weight, and can eat what he likes.advertisementIn the field they reckon on a good day he can save the team between 12 and 16 runs. Off the field, he’s a quiet sort, who prays five times a day and listens to old Hindi film songs to relax once the cricket is done.Other than cricket, Mohammed Kaif, regular kid, loves climbing on the roof of his home in Kali Mai Lane in Keetganj, Allahabad, to fly kites.