Jammu, Nov 9: The passion for cricket seems to be shifting from urban to rural areas in the Jammu province. At least this has been the trend during the last one year where cricket teams coming from far-flung districts like Doda have turned out to be tough competitors for teams in the winter capital.
Recently, in the Under-19 Inter-School cricket tournament organized by Department of Youth Services and sports, Jammu, district Doda clinched the final by defeating Jammu team.
Even in the ongoing inter-college cricket tournament organized by Department of Physical Education, Degree College Doda and Bhaderwah defeated teams of Acharya Shri Chander College of Medical Sciences, Jammu and Government Gandhi Memorial Science College, Jammu respectively.
Rizwan of Degree College Doda who was instrumental in winning the match for Government Degree College Bhaderwah team by scoring a century, told Greater Kashmir, "Despite poor sports infrastructure in our area, we work hard. We don't have adequate number of cricket grounds in Doda, but we try to correct the flaws by playing in the streets."
Another upcoming fast bowler of Bhadarwah, is Arshad Ahmed who is part of Government Degree College Bhaderwah team visiting Jammu for Inter-college Cricket Tournament and is popularly known as "Brett Lee" for his sheer pace. Arshad took three vital wickets against tough competitor GGM Science College to win match for Degree College Bhadarwah.
Cricket experts reveal that the rise of rural cricketers is due to fact that the cricketers in the rural areas have more passion for the game.
"Rural cricketers have great passion for the game as compared to their urban counterparts. Physical fitness is also one such aspect where the cricketers coming from rural areas have an edge," said Dr. Vinod Baskhi, Physical Director GGM Science College and one of the selectors of State Ranji team.
He said that cricketing authorities should focus more on the rural areas and hold camps for the players in the rural areas.
Sunit Sharma, Joint Secretary, Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association (JKCA), Jammu admitted that the passion for the game is shifting from urban areas to rural areas.