BY SYED KAISARA ANDRABI
Despite drop in temperature during the severe winter in Kashmir Valley, in the months of November and December, the youth took advantage of the open sun and went to the playgrounds and actively participated in sports activities in various parts of Kashmir Valley. Tournaments were organized at local as well as the govt level, and such sports activities were witnessed with great enthusiasm in urban and rural areas. Pulwama district of South Kashmir also hosted hundreds of such tournaments and lakhs of people participated directly and indirectly in these sports activities.
During winters in Kashmir people stay indoors but cricket enthusiasts prefer practice to keep the spirit of the game alive. Players say that such tournaments besides promoting the game keep the players physically fit as there is no such physical activity in winter. As cricket is a popular sport, a comprehensive tournament titled “Shahoora T20 Cricket Tournament” was held for the first time in Historic Shahoora area of Pulwama district which lasted for 2 months with 24 famous teams from Pulwama and Shahoora tehsils participating in it. The Shahoora T20 knockout cricket tournament was inaugurated on 25th Oct 2022 at Shah Zahoor Sports Stadium, Tumlahal, Pulwama organized by the literally and social organization Bahari Adab Shahoora with the collaboration of Department of Youth Services and Sports and the district administration.
Tournament was inaugurated by DDC chairman Syed Bari Andrabi in presence of several officers and dignitaries of the area, while the final match was played on December 24 at Sports Stadium Pulwama. In this tournament many famous cricket teams of Pulwama district participated, such as SJCC Tumlahal, Tahab Tigers, Gymkhana Pulwama, Shahoora Cricket Club,Young boys Litter, Machpuna Reds as well as Teams of Nellora, Butnoor, Chandgam, Naira, Gabarpora, Achan, Alaipora, Chidran, Zasoo, Chakura, Shadipora, Arihal villages also participated. The tournament was held in a pleasant atmosphere, many players also set many records during the competition and many of these players are now participating in official level games in many states. The title of the tournament was won by gymkhana Pulwama.
Chairman of Municipal Committee Pulwama Bilal Ahmed Rather, District Officer of Youth Services and Sports Department Noorul Haque, District Nodal Officer of Ayush Department Dr. Mushtaq Ahmed attended the closing ceremony as chief guests and awarded trophies and prizes to the winning team and best players. Speaking on the occasion, they said that there is no shortage of talent in Pulwama district, but there is a need to identify this talent and give it the right direction and proper care.
The captain of Gymkhana Pulwama and a well-known player of Pulwama district, Shabir Ahmad Nengroo alias Shabir Lefty, who has participated in many competitions at the national level, says, “With the establishment of Shah Zahoor Sports Stadium in Shahoora area, not only thousands of sports fans from villages but also from Shopian and Pulwama appreciated it and now there is a pressing demand that basic facilities should be provided in the said stadium.
Abdul Rasheed Shahoori, a prominent social worker of Shahoora area, says, “With the establishment of Shah Zahoor Sports Stadium in Tumlahal named after Ghulam Nabi Shah Zahoor, the famous Kashmiri poet, and founder of Mehfili Bahari Adab Shahoora, there is a boom in sports activities in the area among sports loving youths and students. According to Shahoori the establishment of this stadium takes away the apprehensions of parents, who fear that their children might get involved in various social evils.”
Young player and hero of tournament Muneeb Yousif popularly known as Rahil Lefty says that the initiative taken by the active social organization Mehfil Bihari Adab to organize sports activities in our area is not only worthy of praise but needs to be encouraged and appreciated. He said that such an organized tournament was held for the first time in our area.
Trade union leader Gazi Abdul Aziz said “Shahoora T20 cricket is unique of its kind because it was organized by a literary organization and the main objective behind the event was to involve the local youth in sports activities in order to keep them far from the menace of drug abuse. It’s a praiseworthy step on behalf of this literary organization and that I request all the players to learn the values of sportsmanship, honesty, cooperation, discipline and respect of elders and love of humanity. We demand Shah Zahoor Sports Stadium Tumlahal should be developed to ensure the conduct of smooth sports activities in the area.
Prominent journalist and social activist Showkat Hamid said, “For the first time such an organized tournament was held in Shahora area, where the players expressed their happiness, the demand is also being repeated that sports activities should be promoted in Shahoora area so that the young generation stay free from drugs and other crimes.”
Social activist cum sports promoter and education reformist, Dr. Rauf ur Rafiq says, “Indeed, Bahari Adab Shahoora deserves congratulations, along with performing literary and social services in a large area of Shahoora, they are organizing literally programes in colleges, free medical camps in far-flung areas and cricket tournaments for youth. He says that such tournaments in rural areas are a unique experience and it is also a great opportunity for local players to showcase their skills.”
Bilal Hameed Shahoori, local social worker and organizer of the said tournament, says that Bihari Adab Shaoora plans to organize more such activities in future, another cricket tournament, free medical camp and literary program are next on the agenda. He said, “Today the whole country talks about the spirit of the youth of Jammu and Kashmir in every sports tournament, due to which the youth feel proud and confident”.
District Development Commissioner Pulwama Baseerul Haq Chaudhary says that the campaign ‘My Youth My Pride” is being run in the entire district to instill self-confidence among the youth and under this campaign, hundreds of youths have got the opportunity to show their skills in the fields of sports. He said that the youth are getting an opportunity to compete and hone their skills in various sports fields and the administration is trying to develop the sports infrastructure in the district.”
Sports fans of Pulwama and Shopian expressed their happiness on the establishment of Shah Zahoor Sports Stadium in Tumlahal and appealed the district administration Pulwama and Jammu and Kashmir Sports Council to provided basic facilities in the said stadium, including seating for the players, necessary equipment. Besides they also demanded the construction of a dressing room in the stadium. It is worth mentioning here that the social, literary and public circles have expressed their happiness on the establishment of a stadium named after late Ghulam Nabi Shah Zahoor, a well-known Kashmiri poet, lyricist and leading social activist, and have reiterated their demand that more government institutions should be established in the name of the said poet in Shahoora area.
Syed Kaisara Andrabi is member of Mehfil Bahari Adab Shahoora Pulwama
DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author.
The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK.