Srinagar, Jul 28: Cricket tournaments being held under floodlights, are bringing cheers to thousands of sports enthusiasts in Kashmir valley.
There has been very little development of sports infrastructure in Kashmir, particularly after militancy broke out in 1990. However, according to officials, the sports infrastructure in the valley has been gathering pace for the past several years.
Just two international cricket matches have been played in Kashmir before the eruption of militancy. The last international cricket match was held in Srinagar’s Sher-e-Kashmir cricket stadium between India and Australia in the autumn of 1986.
As per news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), as the news of matches—which were scheduled to be played at North Kashmir Pattan area under floodlights—went viral on social media, huge rush of people left the cosy atmosphere at their home moved towards the ground.
The event was inaugurated by chairman Municipal committee Pattan, Pritpal Singh Oberoi, after inaugurating the event, he said that sports have a positive and constructive role in our social and psychological development and such events enable our youth to divert their attention towards positive pursuits.
He said that various initiatives are being taken to develop sports infrastructure so that more and more sports activities are promoted besides he assured of every possible assistance on part of the administration.
Hundreds of spectators who came from Nook and corner of northern Kashmir witnessed cheering and encouraging the players of teams during the match being held at Pattan. Mohammad Lateef Ganaie, organizer of Presidents Cup 2022 said that it was a major development in the history of sports in J&K and I hope that we will Hold such matches in future.
“In the evening, thousands of spectators come here to watch the match, which was never seen here before as such events are being held for the first time in our region,” Tabish Ayaz a young cricketer said. He hopes that cricket matches will be played with the same enthusiasm in the future.
“Around 09PM, the cricket match starts here and thousands of spectators come to cheer the cricketers,” Tabish added. “It was a dream for the youth here to play a night cricket match and we fulfilled that dream,” he said.
Iqbal Khan another cricketer says that sports infrastructure should be further developed in Kashmir as the youth here has a lot of talent in the sports field.
Meanwhile, a similar league is being played in Durhama area of Baramulla district where at least 65 cricket teams from faraway places are competing. In the evening, this playground is also crowded with spectators.
At Ghani Kashmir Memorial Stadium in the downtown area of Central Kashmir’s Srinagar city, cricket matches are also held here in the evening attracting thousands of elderly and young people from across the city to the Stadium.
Azim Irfan, one of the cricketers, says that it is a good initiative that more and more people will get involved in sports so that they will be saved from bad deeds. Azam believes that more sports infrastructure will be developed here in the near future.
Similarly, in South Kashmir districts and central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district, cricket lovers are also organizing night competitions. Organizers said that they make special arrangements for the teams as well as spectators to enjoy the night cricket—(KNO)