The Kashmiri diaspora in United Arab Emirates (UAE) and in the Arabian Gulf have chosen sports as medium of promoting Kashmiri Culture and Heritage and connecting with their roots in Kashmir.
In 2016, the Kashmiri diaspora living in United Arab Emirates organized a first of its kind cricket tournament in Dubai. The tournament was sponsored by ‘Dre Homes’ – a real estate company and named “Dre Homes Kashmir Super League”.
It was for the first time that the cricketers from Kashmir, who are working in the UAE, got such an exposure at a mass level. The cricket lovers said that organising such a T20 Cricket League was recreating the Indian Premier League (IPL) and Pakistan Super League (PSL) moments by Kashmiris far away from home, in Dubai.
It all started when four Kashmiri teams played some friendly matches among themselves.
“Within no time, due to the overwhelming response that the matches got from the Kashmiri community in the UAE, the number of teams increased from 4 to 6 and then to 8,” social media incharge of the league told Kashmir Life.
This year KSL is into its second year. The second season of the KSL started on January 6, 2017 in Ajman Oval.
The social media manager says that the energy for the second consecutive year is at an all-time high; the excitement levels are at its peak. It a proud moment for the Kashmiri community here in the UAE for having come together and organize such a huge and complex event with minimal resources. “We would like to dedicate this cricket Super League to Kashmir, and hope that all Kashmiris, those back home or the ones living in different parts of the world take individual and community pride in calling ‘Kashmir Super League’ their own event.”
KSL 2017 started with big bang in Ajman Oval, a beautiful stadium situated 30 kilometres away from Dubai in January and has reached stage for its final scheduled to be held on March 24. Hundreds of Kashmiris with their families have witnessed League matches and the stadium established in the middle of desert has turned out to be mini Kashmir where Kashmiris proudly promoted Kashmiri Culture through Live Commentary of all matches in Kashmiri language.
KSL has given Kashmiri dispora living in Gulf a good opportunity to have the feel of being in Kashmir. Overwhelmed by the response by the fellow Kashmiris, the organizers this year have planned a big event on March 24. Not only all the Kashmiris living there with their families have been invited to witness the final match but also members of media fraternity from Kashmir and Civil Society and Trade Unions have been invited. The delegation from Kashmir will be leaving on March 22, from Srinagar to Dubai.
According to Organisers, 14 teams comprising of 400 promising Cricketers living in Gulf countries have participated in League Championship. The semi finals will be played between Buhrikadal Badshah vs Rajbagh Sports and Soura Qalandars vs Razay Kadal Super Heroes. The winners of both the semis will play final.