Kashmir’s love for cricket thrives

Kashmir youth's indomitable cricket dream survives
Kashmir youth's indomitable cricket dream survives

Kashmir youth’s indomitable cricket dream survives

[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]A[/dropcap]amir Hussain residing at South Kashmir, lost both his arms in a machine accident at the age of eight and he is back after twelve years with a bang and surprised the people in Bijbehara, 45 Km from Srinagar, with his amazing skills in Cricket, Yes you heard it right, at the age of 20, he is cricketer playing for his state, bowling, batting and fielding effortlessly like his fellow able-bodied peers. His inspiration is none other than our own master blaster Sachin Tendulkar from whom is have learnt cricketing tactics.

Aamir resides at Waghama village near Bijbhehar on the backs of the Jhelum River, which is specialized in making the famed Kashmir Willow bat and it is a part of the Kashmir valley belt.

In this part of the Kashmir Valley, young boys start playing cricket at a very young age and go out to the field whenever they find the opportunity.

Parvez Rasool — the first Jammu and Kashmir cricketer to find a place in the Indian national team — too hails from Bijbehara.

For Aamir, his dream of becoming a cricketer would have been cut short suddenly when he lost both his arms from the shoulders while playing near a band-saw machine at a willow-cutting unit.

For Aamir’s parents – Bashir Ahmad Lone and Raja Begum – the accident was a huge shock. His father, a farm labour, sold almost his entire property to save his son — second among five siblings comprising four sons and a daughter.

Aamir remained restricted to a hospital bed for almost three years.

After the young boy got out, he learnt how to live life as a differently-abled person — with his doting grandmother assisting him at each step of the torturous rehabilitation process.

[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]A[/dropcap]amir learnt to perform daily chores — so easy for a normal-bodied person — with his lower limbs. Slowly, but surely, he began picking up objects with his feet and, over a period of time, could lift a glass full of water to his lips, wash himself and even comb his hair.

“It took me two years to learn to do all things by myself. Now I do them easily without anyone’s help,” Aamir told IANS.

He also learnt to hold a pen with his foot to write and paint with a brush.

“Initially, I found it very hard to write. But I had no other option. I wanted to prove myself,” Aamir said.

Despite hardships, Aamir again picked up his interrupted studies and cleared his class 10 and 12 examinations. He took each difficulty he faced in life as a challenge — even learning to swim after seeing how the ducks paddled.

[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]Y[/dropcap]et his dream of being a cricketer had not quite died down. He developed a unique style of holding the bat between his neck and shoulder, to effectively tackle the bowling. He also acquired another remarkable ability — to hold the red cherry in his toes and hurl it as a leg spin, swinging his foot from the hip.

As to fielding, he does it with aplomb, using his feet dexterously to stop the ball or catch it.

Because of his extraordinary bowling and batting skills, he was picked up for the Jammu and Kashmir para-cricket team in 2013 and soon appointed captain of the squad.

The devastating floods of 2014 in the Kashmir Valley kept Aamir away from cricket for a year but the state team management did not allow him to remain away from the game for long.

[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]A[/dropcap]amir skippered the state team at the 2015 inter-state para-cricket tournament in Lucknow where his team won against Manipur. His performance was greatly appreciated at the tournament by everyone.

Having played in Jammu, Delhi and Lucknow, Aamir now has his sights set on foreign venues representing India at International Para-Cricket tournaments.

Aamir’s struggle for a normal life against all odds is the story of an extraordinary achievement which is likely to inspire several others in the state and elsewhere.

Here is an excellent post on the history of Bijbehera



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