The victory of the Indian cricket team in the first edition of the 2007 T20 World championship changed the landscape of Indian cricket. It resulted in the creation of the Indian Premier League and brought in many more riches into the sport.
It also changed the fortunes of Firos, a young artist from Kozhikode, whose oil painting of the Indian cricket team catapulted him into the limelight.
He is currently conducting an exhibition at the Bat and Ball Inn in the city, where his paintings and portraits of cricketing legends from across the globe are exhibited.
He says: “We had displayed some of these paintings at the team hotels. The cricketers liked them and even autographed the paintings.”
“With the help of patrons and friends, I began to draw many more sketches. Most of the sketches are drawn from photos of the cricketers that appeared in magazines and newspapers. Portrait pictures do not take much time. However, pictures like the one featuring the T20 World Cup winning team took more than a week. It consists of many more elements and people.”
Firos was admonished by teachers in school for not paying attention in class and focussing on drawing sketches.
He says, “When I was in fifth standard my teacher gave me a show down for being indifferent to my studies. At that point, I realised that drawing was my true calling. After my schooling, I decided to take it up as a profession. I have no formal training in art.”
Firos has also worked in Saudi Arabia, drawn pictures of the royal family and of the Saudi football team that participated in the 2002 football world cup. He is currently involved with a website cricketutopia.com and plans to keep on sketching cricket players. “I hope I get to paint the Indian cricket team holding the world cup aloft. That would be a dream come true.”
The exhibition is on at the Bat and Ball Inn, Richmond Road till April 2 . For more information about the sketches, call 9902034904 or visit www.cricketutopia.com.