Former India all-rounder Irfan Pathan, who is the mentor of Jammu & Kashmir state teams, along with age-group aspirants left for their respective homes after ongoing U-16 and U-19 trials in Srinagar have been postponed due to prevailing security situation in the valley.
The state administration has issued an advisory for all tourists and Amarnath Yatris to leave the valley due to a potential terror threat.
Pathan was in Srinagar to oversee the trials for the U-16 (Vijay Merchant Trophy) and U-19 (Cooch Behar Trophy) and prune the list of probables.
“We have for the time being postponed the second phase of junior team trials. We had the first phase from June to July. This was the second phase. However since there has been a government advisory, I had a meeting with Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association (JKCA) CEO Mr Bukhari and administrator Justice Prasad. Accordingly, it was decided that boys need to be sent back home,” Pathan told PTI on Sunday.
Pathan left Srinagar only after all the boys, from other regions like Jammu reached home.
“I myself personally ensured, at least for a few boys, that they can reach their homes safely. I can understand that their parents were tensed and rightly so. I called up some of them to confirm that they have indeed reached their homes. Now that everyone has left, I left today,” said Pathan.
He agreed that due to the current situation, the training schedule got hampered but expected that things will be back on track in no time.
“We have got an elaborate blue print ready. We wanted to have a heads up in our preparations and that’s why we started the camp as early as June so that when this camp starts, we can shortlist the boys easily. Also our boys will be playing an All-India pre-season tournament and I will monitor their performance,” the 34-year-old said.
While he remains hopeful that camp will resume in a few days time after the current security issue is taken care of, he also didn’t rule out the option of training in any other state. “If a situation demands, there could be a contingency plan where JKCA can use the training facilities of any other state association,” said Pathan.