A very famous saying by, the wall of Indian cricket, Rahul Dravid, “You don’t win or lose the games because of 11 you select, you win or lose with what those 11 do on the field”. Cricket is a team sport and contribution of each individual only leads to success. Similar to this is the effort of each individual to build his family, society, state and nation.
Cricket is the most popular sport in India and loved my millions. The craze for cricket in India is similar to that of football in European South American and African countries. It’s a people driven sport and mainly loved due to its different formats which can be watched by people according to their taste/desire. Kashmir is not left out of this craze and wave of cricket love. For youth of Kashmir cricket is passion and it’s the most liked and loved sport in Kashmir.
The Cricket team of Kashmir is in the Group C of Ranji Trophy and having its main home ground in Sher-e-Kashmir Stadium, Srinagar. Kashmir has produced some great players who represented India at International competitions and also participated in famous IPL (India Premier League) tournaments. The most loved and known players are Parvez Rasool (all rounder) who also played for team India at international level, Rasikh Salam was the youngest debutant for Mumbai Indians similarly Manzoor Dar was also picked by the IPL franchise Kings XI Punjab.
The most Inspirational and motivating player is Amir Hussain, J&K Para Cricket Team Captain, he is the inspiration of youth and beside not having both the arms, he is a batsman and bowler. Amir Hussain lost both arms in an accident while working in a Aara machine but he never lost hope in life and achieved glory for himself by continuous hard work and dedication. These players are motivation and public figures to the youth of Kashmir, through them they see their dreams of this fascinating and luring game which is desired by millions. Kashmir is having many bat manufacturing factories and also it exports good quality wood to other locations for bat manufacturing. Every village/town of Kashmir can be seen having their fields full with cricket crazy youth playing with passion.
To uplift and encourage this sport further in the valley, government has always played a helping role by organizing different cricket tournaments, providing cricket kits, improvement of grounds and projecting the talented players at different levels. These are being done even at a very small village level all across the valley. Kashmir also has different small and large cricket clubs running at village, tehsil and district levels, a large number of these are sponsored by the government. Youth of Kashmir with limited play grounds in the valley have managed and excelled in this sport mainly due to their passion and dedication towards cricket.
These are some world class clubs in Srinagar and other towns of Kashmir. These clubs are giving high standard of coaching and building the talent of players; beside these Kashmir also has many local level clubs which are affiliated to bigger clubs for feeding and developing the talented youth. Kashmir has a great potential and talent to offer good players/ sportsman mainly in the field of cricket. Kashmir is having large number of clubs all around the valley however, they do not have an appropriate platform to showcase their talent at higher levels. The way ahead is through proper training and acknowledging the potential at different levels of these Kashmiri Youth.
As cricket is not just a game in Kashmir, it is a passion and greater heights can be achieved only by channelizing this passion in the right direction by providing different platforms to the youth of Kashmir.