Srinagar: It has been a dream come true for Kashmir cricketer Mateen Teli to rub shoulders with his cricketing heroes James Anderson and Stuart Broad when the England Test team travelled to Nottingham for the second Test against New Zealand.
The pictures of Mateen Teli who has been based in Nottingham for the last four years or so, have gone viral in Kashmir with the Sopore-born cricketer training alongside some of the legends of the game.
The England Test team that currently is busy in the second Test at Trent Bridge against New Zealand had training sessions in Nottingham before the match in which Mateen Teli along with some of the talented bowlers from various clubs of Nottingham was called as net bowlers to have a go at England batsman.
Mateen who plays for Esher Grove, Nottingham-based club, Cavaliers and Carrington Cricket Club was also recommended as a net bowler owing to his impressive record with the club.
"Before the start of Trent Bridge Test, England team management called clubs to provide their best bowlers as net bowlers for the team. Nottingham County Assistant coach Bilal Shafayat whom I knew, called me and said he has recommended my name," Mateen told Greater Kashmir.
Mateen said that he without hesitation said ok as it was a dream chance to meet your heroes.
"I instantly said yes, as anyone who follows and loves cricket will never miss this opportunity," Mateen said.
Mateen said that it was out of World feeling when he finally arrived at the ground and had a chance to bowl at International stars like Johny Bairstow and Zak Crawley.
"I had an impressive session as a net bowler to the likes of Johny Bairstow, Zak Crawley and others. It was a dream to bowl to the likes of Bairstow and when I finally managed to sneak into his defences once, it was just World feeling," excited Mateen said.
He said that everyone in England camp praised him for bowling well and former cricketer turned coach Paul Collingwood was particular in the praise.
"While everyone praised my efforts during the net session, Paul Collingwood reserved special praise for me. After seeing me going through Bairstow's defences, Collingwood said it was unplayable delivery and you must be taking a lot of wickets for your club. It was something that I hadn't expected in my dreams and I will cherish these words for the rest of my life," Mateen said.
During the net session, Mateen had a chance to meet his bowling hero, James Anderson as well as Stuart Broad.
"I have always followed England legend James Anderson and he has been my favourite bowler. Even another legend Stuart Broad has been my favourite. Though I have previously played with the likes of England cricketer Alex Hales in club cricket but this feeling of meeting your heroes Anderson and Broad was something different. It has been a dream come true and I am one of the luckiest cricketers in the World to meet and speak with these legends," Mateen said.
Mateen who has done Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship from Nottingham Trent University has done really well for his club, Cavaliers & Carrington Cricket Club. Last season, Mateen took 25 wickets for his team with an average of 18.64. He had the best figures of 6/35. This season, Mateen has picked 11 wickets with an average of 18.27 so far.
Before moving to England, Mateen used to play for the well-known cricket club of Baramulla in his home town of Sopore Coaching Centre.
"Not many will get a chance like what I got but it all happened because I kept flame burning and continued to play Cricket even during my study. I used to play for Coaching Centre Sopore in local cricket and never got a chance at higher levels. But passion never went away and I joined club cricket in Nottingham and have been doing well," Mateen said.
Mateen clarified that he hasn't got a call from English Cricket Board, instead, it was called at the local level from Nottingham for the clubs.
"Some media outlets have mentioned that I have got a call from the England cricket board which is totally wrong. Nevertheless, it is not a small thing to have a training session with such a big team and I hope my journey inspires Kashmir youth," he said.