Young players suffer; say ‘bear the brunt of fight’
By: Ahmed Shabir
Anantnag: The tussle between two cricket bodies in this South Kashmir’s Anantnag district has left the young cricketers, having the potential to make it to international level, disappointed and helpless.
Anantnag district has two cricket bodies namely District Cricket Association (DCA) and District Cricket Forum (DCF) with both accusing each other of being illegal.
DCA headed by a businessman, Farooq Amin claiming to be the only registered cricketing body with the Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association (JKCA), later maintains that it is an illegal body that came into an existence after a reputed cricketer from the district managed to get the elections conducted by unfair means in the year 2019.
Secretary of the DCF, Waseem Jan Mir speaking to Precious Kashmir said that it (DFCF) is the only registered cricket body in the district.
“DCF till 2019 was organising all the tournaments of JKCA in the district. All the funds from JKCA would come to DCF for promotion of cricket. However, in 2019, some people got the elections conducted by unfair means and easily managed their win. The election notice was published in a lesser known newspaper only as a formality to ensure that nobody knows about the elections being conducted,” Jan told Precious Kashmir.
DCF, Jan said, was not against the elections but against the manner it was conducted.
“We had met the then Election Officer appointed by JKCA and asked him to issue fresh notice in leading dailies and give time for campaigning to the participants but he clearly refused, saying he cannot go against the directions of the then JKCA chief,” Jan said.
DCF later decided to stay away from elections and stayed what it still calls unfair elections in the court.
“DCA might be addressing pressers and showing the documents of registration but the case is still pending in the honorable court. Unless court comes with the verdict, we cannot accept it as the legal cricket body. Yes, if court decides on its favour, we will respect its decision,” DCF Secretary said.
Jan said that DCA is headed by a person, who has never picked up a bat in his hand.
Asked why DCF is not organising tournaments, Jan said that they had organized a big tournament in which eighty teams were supposed to participate but DCA using the influence of the local reputed cricketer created hurdles in the same.
“It was because of DCA that our tournament was not given go ahead even after the inauguration match had been played. Now, we are playing the tournaments which had been put at halt due to the uncertain situation and Covid restrictions,” Jan said.
Jan admitted that the divide between cricket bodies in the district has affected the game but added that a non-cricketer with the support of one influential cricketer cannot hijack the game.
“I admit the divide affects the cricket badly and young cricketers with a huge talent suffer but JKCA should look into it,” Jan said.
Asked if he supports ban on JKCA cricketers from playing in local tournaments, he said that JKCA has its own rules and regulations.
“I had also talked to JKCA officials but they say they don’t want their players to get hurt while playing local cricket,” Jan said.
Secretary of another cricket body, DCA, Nasser Ahmad, however, said that they are the legal and registered cricket body with JKCA giving platform to the young talent.
“DCA has been organizing tournaments everywhere in the district. We have come up with practice pitches in almost all the grounds in the district besides providing other facilities. Even though there are no funds coming from JKCA, we spend from our own pockets to develop infrastructure,” Naseer said.
He said that DCF stayed away from elections knowing that would lose.
“Since DCF has no reputation among the cricketers and cricket loving people. The people knew that they going to face defeat in elections and they decided to stay away. When somebody has no argument, he comes up with the stories like elections were fraud,” Naseer said.
He defended the president of the DCA, saying even being a non-cricketer, he has contributed a lot in promoting cricket.
“Firstly president of DCA is not a non-cricketer. He too has played cricket. But his contribution towards the game is much more than life time cricketers of the district. He is spending from his own pocket to develop infrastructure for young cricketers,” DCA Secretary said.
With tussle between two cricket bodies continues, the young cricketers said that they have become victims of this fight. “It is a fight between two bodies for power and we are bearing the brunt. It is because of this fight that JKCA barred us from playing local tournaments even on turf grounds,” a local cricketer, who has played many high profile national level tournaments rued.
Another young cricketer said that in this fight, two local cricket legends are involved.
“This fight has now become matter of ego for both of them but unfortunately we suffer in between. Let Lieutenant Governor led administration take a call on this so that the game in Anantnag district, considered to be hub of cricket does not suffer any more,” he rued.