Kashmir village celebrates IPL pick Manzoor Ahmad Dar

Manzoor Dar worked on his cricketing skills even when he put in long hours to support his siblings.

Manzoor Dar worked on his cricketing skills even when he put in long hours to support his siblings.

Bandipora, usually in news for all the wrong reasons, is in the limelight: a nondescript and remote village called Shigan Pora in this Kashmir district is celebrating the selection of local cricketing talent, 24-year-old Manzoor Ahmad Dar, to the prestigious Indian Premier League (IPL). He is the second Kashmiri to achieve the feat.

Nicknamed Pandav, Dar was picked up by Kings XI Punjab on Sunday during the IPL auction. “It is a rare moment of my life. I am overwhelmed,” he told The Hindu .

Dar, born in a farmer’s family, is the eldest of the 12 children, including eight brothers and four sisters. He worked as a woodcutter and as a security guard to meet their expenses. “I had to support the family and ensure that all the siblings went to school, and at the same time play cricket and focus on my skills,” Dar said. “I hope to end our hardships now.”

The Kings XI management paid ₹20 lakh for him. The entire Dar family watched the auction live on Sunday afternoon. “I was in Jammu for trials when I was selected for the IPL. I called up my mother. She began crying,” the cricketer said.

A right-handed batsman and medium-pace bowler, Dar debuted for Jammu and Kashmir in February 2017 for the Vijay Hazare Trophy. “I always played the short format of the game. I wanted to play at the national level and for the IPL but never thought it will happen so soon,” he said.

His village has been a centre of attraction since Sunday. Villagers from nearby districts have been visiting the family. Friends and relatives are distributing sweets to well-wishers. “Our village has no playground, but that did not deter my son,” said father Mukhtar Ahmad Dar. Julilant mother Misra Begum, busy attending to womenfolk thronging the house, said: “Manzoor worked very hard for this. We could hardly provide him any financial support ever,” she said.

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Printable version | May 21, 2022 5:55:17 pm |