Rasik Salam Dar

When 17-year-old Rasik Salam Dar, a resident of Ashmuji village in Kulgam, made it to the coveted Indian Premier League (IPL), it brought much needed joyous moments in otherwise blood-soaked south Kashmir. Rasik was purchased by Mumbai Indians team for a whooping Rs 20 lakh during an auction held at Jaipur. When the news of his inclusion in IPL came, Rasik was in Jammu playing a tournament.

Rasik, right arm medium fast bowler, started his cricketing journey from his school and then moved on to play at the district level. He got selected by Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association (JKCA) in the second trial.

Rasik went on to play two national tournaments at Indore in 2016 and 2017. “My elder brother Irfan coached me since my childhood and the credit goes to him,” Rasik said.

In August 2018, trails were held at Sher-i-Kashmir Cricket stadium by Indian blower Irfan Pathan and Parvaiz Rasool, to hunt new talent. Rasik was shortlisted after he took a hat-trick in the trial match. He was picked up to play for Jammu and Kashmir’s senior team in Vijay Hazare Trophy at Andra-Pradesh.

During the Vijay Hazare Trophy, Rasik was spotted by two IPL teams Mumbai Indians and Kings XI Punjab. He then took part in two days trails. After which Mumbai Indians had kept his name in player’s auction shortlist. He was finally purchased by them.

When Rasik was in IPL trails, Zaheer Khan and John Hastings of Australia boosted his confidence by saying, “Your bowling is excellent, don’t worry, give your best and you will get selected.”

But the journey to success was not an easy one for Rasik, as he struggled to catch the selector’s attention for the last two years.

However, in order to stay focused on cricket, Rasik opted for Arts, despite his family urging him to study medicine.

“Since childhood, I am passionate about cricket. My mother has always been there to boost my confidence even during worst times,” said Rasik.

Rasik, who is inspired by Pakistani pacer Shoaib Akhter, wants people to call him Kashmir express for his bowling skills. “I wish I have a combo of pace like Shoaib Akhter and swing like Irfan Pathan,” said Rasik.

Now Rasik is all set to make his IPL debut and perform to the best of his talent so that people in Kashmir feel proud about him.

– Parrey Babar

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