Aaqib Naik

Shopian: An untapped reservoir of sports talent

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Shopian, 19 May: South Kashmir’s Shopian continues to remain in a state of protracted upheaval with bleak stories of violence and lethality emerging out of the district.

Meanwhile, amidst this desolation and fatality two cricket enthusiasts, Owais Ahmad Beigh and Suhail wani, from the district have managed to make a name for themselves.

A fitness coach in Jammu and Kashmir State Sports Council (JKSSC) Owais’s cricket career spans all over the Kashmir.

Talking to ‘Kashmir Images’, Owais Beigh while recalling his journey of playing and promoting cricket said, “I have played cricket with best cricketers of the valley like Parviaz Rasool, Manzoor Pandav, Umer Nazir and other Ranji Players.”

Owais Ahmad is currently working as a fitness coach for over 30 cricketers of the valley.

Owais has won many trophies during his career as a cricketer which include Man of the match awards in various cricket tournaments like Anantnag Premier League, Banihal Premier League, Shopian Premier League. “The most memorable moment of my cricket career was when I received the man of the tournament award in Srinagar Premier League,” recalls Owais.

Another cricket of the district, Suhail Wani started playing cricket at the age of 12.

“I was studying in 6th standard when I got a chance to play the first match of my career at an inter-district level and then I was offered a place in paradise cricket club (PCC),” said Suhail.

“Thereafter, I went to National Institute of Sports (NIS) in Patiala Punjab to gain professional expertise about cricket and subsequently I was appointed as a coach for the JKSSC,” he added.

Suhail told ‘Kashmir Images’ that he received unconditional support from his family. “I still remember my neighbours taunting me whenever they would spot me with the cricket equipments, but with the support of my family I was able to concentrate on my set goal,” said Suhail.

Suhail said that some players in the district are gifted with lot of talent but due to lack of necessary facilities, required for the game of cricket, such talent tend to remain untapped. “Government should come forward to facilitate the talented cricket players of Shopian district, said Suhail.

Suhail and Owais are presently coaching 30 Cricketers who come from different areas of Shopian. “Many youngsters nowadays indulge in immoral activities like drug abuse, and engaging such young persons in sports activities will help them to fight their addiction,” said the duo coaches.

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