Howz That?

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A life changing injury forced first class cricketer to become an umpire, all for the love of the sport. Heena Muzzafar tells his story

Mubashir Hassan, 35, a resident of Nai Sarak, Habba Kadal is a Wikipedia of cricket, quite literally.

In his career, Mubashir has played six national level cricket tournaments, stood as an umpire in two state level matches, guided teams in more than twenty-two matches as coach.

Mubashir, an M Phil in Zoology, is a lecturer by profession, has grown up playing gully cricket.

Since childhood Mubashir would keenly watch international tournaments, trying to learn new tricks.

His hobby of playing cricket turned into passion, when Mubashir was selected in his school team to play in an interschool tournament. Mubashir’s continuous victory in school level matches helped him in correcting his skills, he initially lacked.

“It was then I started thinking seriously to make cricket a career,” recalls Mubashir.

When Mubashir was 15, he was asked to play in 19 + team. “It was good experience to play with and against the players, who were elders. It helped me to grow.”

At 17, Mubashir, represented S P School, Srinagar, at interschool level, after which he got selected for nationals.

After getting selected for nationals, Mubashir played for J&K U -19 team in Cooch Behar trophy. “Though, we could not win, but participating in it was a big achievement,” believes Mubashir.

Besides, Mubashir has represented, Srinagar Cricket Club and Srinagar Gymkhana Cricket Club as a bowler.

“In my college days, I was the captain of the cricket team for two years,” says Mubashir.

An all rounder, Mubashir, got a chance to represent J&K in Ranjhi Trophy in 1997-98.

Mubashir, who plays table tennis and lawn tennis in his free time, recently met an accident, suffering from multiple fractures and ligament tear, in his back and leg. The injury put a full stop to his cricketing career. “It was a terrific accident. Doctors prohibited me from playing,” said Mubashir.

After the injury, Mubashir, who would not miss even a single day without playing cricket, was left with no option but to watch people play.

But Mubashir could not stay away from cricket for long, thus he made a comeback as an umpire. “I wanted to be in touch with cricket, so I decided to become an umpire,” said Mubashir.

Mubashir qualified level A for umpire course with Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and has been short listed for club umpiring.

However, the cricketer in him craves to teach young players. “I decided to train players, which I found befitting me best.”

Mubashir has already completed level A and level A- refreshers coach course with BCCI and is waiting for BCCI’s further order to complete remaining two levels.

In 2013, he was hired as a coach by Ghani Gliders for Downtown Champions League (DCL). The following years he was hired by Pride Riders. Currently he is the coach for U-19 J&K cricket team. “As we lack infrastructure in Kashmir, we end up in semi finals only,” said Mubashir.

Mubashir feels that lack of Turf wicket makes it difficult for local players to compete at national level.

“We practice on jute mats, something that is obsolete now.”

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