A young cricketer has become the first Kashmiri to be selected by Sri Balaji Cricket Academy for a T20 cricket tournament in Sri Lanka. Umer Beigh reports.

Monis Hasan, 15, once an ordinary boy is now famous in his locality. He plays cricket and is passionate about it. Studying in tenth grade, Monis is only boy from the state to be selected for Balaji’s sponsored seniors under nineties Twenty-20 national cricket tournament to be held in Sri Lanka in July this year.

“We were 16 players sent to Haryana, out of them only I got selected by the selectors from Sri Balaji Cricket Academy for upcoming Sri lanka international tour,” says Monis

Hailing from Alamgari Bazaar locality of Srinagar, he has never had any proper coaching.

“I have never gone to any coach for the tips and help about the game,” he says.

Monis was selected by Baliji Cricket Academy for his all round performance in All India T20 Cricket League matches.

“I bowled well to all three opposing teams – Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, and Himachal. Before the matches many players like Samiullah (renowned fast bowler) appreciated my potential. I received many tips from other players who played Indian Premier League earlier that helped me to perform in those conditions,” he says.

Monis says he is lucky to get a chance so early in his life to perform at the international stage.

He has been playing for his neighbourhood Hyderia Cricket Club since last year.

“Joining the Hyderia Cricket Club was the turning point of my career as it provided me a platform to perform and enhance my skills,” he says.

He started playing cricket early and he used to take heavy kit-bags for the matches. There is not only a single ground in down town area where Monis has not played, says his brother.

“What I have learnt so far, is my potential and skills, rest was my luck which struck at right the moment. I was in first grade when I first started playing cricket. My elder brother has encouraged me a lot. He used to give me a place in his team,” Monis says.

Monis wants to make a career in cricket and he is much optimistic about it. “If God forbid I am not selected there, I will not quit instead will work harder so that I can come back and make it to top levels,” he says.

Actually, he says, playing outside the valley is slightly difficult than here as conditions like climate and pitch, change.

The young cricketer claims that Kashmir has got “immense potential” and quality players but due to lack of basic infrastructure they don’t make it to the higher levels.

 “We got no good cricket grounds to play in, no one here except Abid Nabi who played in Indian Cricket League (ICL) earlier has made it on large platform rest remained on paper only,” he says.

 Monis is keen about his performance there he says, “I am fully focused about my fitness; I work hard for it now. I don’t want to lose any chance to be a part of that tournament.”

The young cricketer has not got his passport yet but, he says, that the club for which he plays has assured to help him get the requisite documents well in time. “So that is not an issue for me,” he says.

The encouragement from parents, who are letting him chase his dream becoming a cricketer has been of “immense help”.

“They got no problem if I play cricket all the time, my first priority is cricket. That doesn’t mean I won’t study further I will continue my studies as well, if I got selected further. They know my dream and I am very much happy with it”.

About the scope and passion of cricket among the youths, Monis says, players here don’t get chance to express themselves. Lack of infrastructure is killing their talent. “I was fortunate to get it (the chance to play at a higher level), now I will make it count.”


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