Kashmir’s deaf cricketer does a Beethoven

Umar Ashraf shines as India wins DICC T20 Champions Trophy
Kashmir’s deaf cricketer does a Beethoven
GK Photo

Srinagar, Oct 21: Many people told Beethoven he would never be a musician just because he was deaf, but did he listen?

Like Beethoven, a deaf cricket player Umar Ashraf Beigh quietly used his weaknesses as strengths to represent J&K at the international level with pride.

Umar, a resident of Srinagar originally hailing from Baramulla, was a member of the India Deaf Cricket Team that recently won the DICC T20 Champions Trophy in the United Arab Emirates.

Indian team remained undefeated throughout the competition and won the DICC T20 Champions Trophy at Malek Stadium in Ajman, United Arab Emirates, by defeating South Africa by 39 runs.

After the last event in 2018 that was conducted in India, the squad sent by the Indian Deaf Cricket Association (IDCA) was competing in their first international tournament post-pandemic.

Umar, a participant from J&K, shone for the victorious Indian team.

He played four games and scored 104 runs. The highest he scored was an unblemished 37 from 25 balls.

"I am happy to be part of this all-conquering India team. I had worked hard for this and I was able to deliver at the biggest stage," Umar said.

The tournament involved teams from Australia, South Africa, and Bangladesh apart from India.

“To play against sides like Australia and South Africa was dream come true. It was a big event that involved some of the top players from the international deaf cricket arena,” he said.

It was the third time that Umar was part of the Indian team.

He previously represented India in the 2014 Dosti Cup against Pakistan which was held in Ludhiana, Punjab.

In 2015 he was part of the India squad for the event in UAE.

Having started playing cricket in 2006, Umar over the years has represented J&K regularly in the national arena.

Apart from continuing his cricket journey, Umar studies at Amar Singh College Srinagar, and is currently in his BA Final year.

Umar is also the recipient of the J&K Government Award for the Sportspersons in 2019.

"I started playing cricket in 2006 and since then have been regularly representing J&K in the national championship. I regularly train and take suggestions from well-known batters to improve my game," he said.

Despite having represented India and been a regular part of J&K in the national arena, Umar has not received the recognition that he should have.

“No one cares about Deaf Cricket in J&K. The administration needs to come up with more support and recognition for the deaf cricket and cricketers. I will be able to give better performance if the support level would be better," Umar said.

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