Waseem becomes another Kashmiri to ‘make it big’
By: Ahmad Shabir
Anantnag: With poor sports and educational infrastructure in the area, most of the children in famed tourism spot Pahalgam, abandon their studies to earn livelihood through various tourism activities.
However, Waseem Bashir Khanday from far-off Pahalgam village, Mamal, has a different reason to bid good bye to the regular mode of studies and chose distance mode: the passion for cricket.
Waseem, a right-hand pacer having been called for Indian Premier League (IPL) trials recently by Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), was the staunch cricket lover since his childhood.
After playing street and lawn cricket for several years, Waseem at High School level played under 19 and under 23 at district and state level during his secondary and higher secondary school days.
Waseem’s passion for the game was such that in the absence of sports infrastructure in his area, he used to go to other distant areas like Anantnag and Bijbehara to play cricket with different teams.
At many local tournaments, Waseem impressed one and all with his pace and skill.
“I would spend days and nights away from home to play the game,” Waseem told Precious Kashmir.
Waseem after passing Class 12th decided to carry on his studies through distance mode to ensure that his game is not affected.
“Pursuing studies through regular mode would have affected my game. So I chose to continue my studies through IGNOU to ensure that my game does not suffer,” he said.
Waseem two years ago even went outside to seek coaching from the experts at Karnataka Institute of Cricket (KIOC) Banglore.
“I sought the coaching for around eight months. The reason to seek coaching was to get my skill polished. It was during my coaching that many experts watched me and recommended my name for IPL trials,” Waseem said.
Waseem credits his family and star cricketer Parvez Rasool for making it to IPL trials.
“My family has always been supportive. My parents and brother never went against my choice. Besides, Parvez Rasool always guided me right. I am hopeful that I will get a chance to play IPL. Even if I don’t, making it to trials for such high profile league is also a big thing for me,” Waseem said.
Waseem has become a household name in Pahalgam since he was called for trials by KKR.