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Kashmir’s para-cricketer with no arms an inspiration in cricket world

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Srinagar: South Kashmir resident Aamir Hussain, a mere 20 years old boy with his extraordinary ability to play cricket has people in Bijbehara perplexed. Aamir lost both his arms in a machine accident. The devoted Sachin Tendulkar fan devotes his success to the batting maestro.

Twelve years have passed since the accident. Now he is a cricketer playing for his state, batting, bowling and fielding with ease found in few among his able-bodied peers.

Aamir is a resident of Waghama village near Bijbhehar on the banks of the Jhelum river, which is part of the Kashmir Valley belt that specialises in making the famed Kashmir Willow bat.

Young boys here take to ball and bat at a young age, going out to the field whenever they find the opportunity.

Parvez Rasool- the first Jammu and Kashmir cricketer to find a place in the Indian national team, too hails from Bijbehara.

For Aamir, his dream of becoming a cricketer would have been cut short suddenly when he lost both his arms from the shoulders while playing near a bandsaw machine at a willow-cutting unit.

For Aamir’s parents – Bashir Ahmad Lone and Raja Begum – the accident was a huge shock. His father, a farm labour, sold almost his entire property to save his son, second among five siblings comprising four sons and a daughter.

Aamir remained restricted to a hospital bed for almost three years.

After the young boy got out, he learnt how to live life as a differently-abled person, with his doting grandmother assisting him at each step of the torturous rehabilitation process.

Aamir learnt to perform daily chores, so easy for a normal-bodied person, with his lower limbs. Slowly, but surely, he began picking up objects with his feet and, over a period of time, could lift a glass full of water to his lips, bathe and even comb his hair.

“It took me two years to learn to do all things by myself. Now I do them easily without anyone’s help,” Aamir told reporters.

He also learnt to hold a pen with his foot to write and paint with a brush.

“Initially, I found it very hard to write. But I had no other option. I wanted to prove myself,” Aamir said.

Despite hardships, Aamir again picked up his interrupted studies and cleared his class 10 and 12 examinations. He took each difficulty he faced in life as a challenge, even learning to swim after seeing how the ducks paddled.

Yet his dream of being a cricketer had not quite died down. He developed a unique style of holding the bat between his neck and shoulder, to effectively tackle the bowling. He also acquired another remarkable ability- to hold the red cherry in his toes and hurl it as a leg spin, swinging his foot from the hip.

As to fielding, he does it with aplomb, using his feet dexterously to stop the ball or catch it.

Because of his extraordinary bowling and batting skills, he was picked up for the Jammu and Kashmir para-cricket team in 2013 and soon appointed the captain of the squad.

The devastating floods of 2014 in the Kashmir Valley kept Aamir away from cricket for a year but the state team management did not allow him to remain away from the game for long.

Aamir skippered the state team at the 2015 interstate para-cricket tournament in Lucknow where his team won against Manipur. His performance was greatly appreciated at the tournament by everyone.

Having played in Jammu, Delhi and Lucknow, Aamir now has his sights set on foreign venues representing India at International Para-Cricket tournaments.

Aamir’s struggle for a normal life against all odds is the story of an extraordinary achievement which is likely to inspire several others in the state and elsewhere. (Aadil Mir, IANS)

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9 Best Innings by Yuvraj Singh in One-day Cricket

The all-round Punjabi cricketer who made through everything from cancer to full-pressure innings

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The cricketer survives through cancer and came back shining. Wikimedia commons
  • Yuvraj hit 6 sixes off 6 balls in a match with England.
  • He was the Man of the series in an ODI series against Pakistan in 2006.
  • The cricketer has fought and survived cancer.

Yuvraj Singh, a cricketer who plays all forms of the game. He is an all-rounder, left-handed batsman, and slow left-arm orthodox bowler. The cricketer was diagnosed with a cancerous tumour in 2011 in his left lung, he underwent a chemotherapy. After a break of almost a year, he made his international comeback in a Twenty20 match in September 2012.

He was many achievements to his name including that of Padma Shri Award and Arjuna Award. The Test of My Life: From Cricket to Cancer and Back is his autobiography.

Also Read: Cricket- A Fair Game or Farce!

Here are 9 best inning by Yuvraj Singh in One-day Cricket:

1. 139 vs Australia

He was playing the seventh match of VB series in Sydney on 22nd January 2004. In one of his finest efforts, he scored a 139 against Australia. Though India lost the match, but Yuvraj Singh did prove that he possessed match-winning capabilities.

2. 107 vs Pakistan

It was a five-match ODI series against Pakistan in March 2006. India’s target was 286, which was quite competitive as Pakistan was playing for pride. However, Yuvraj Singh along with M.S. Dhoni led India to an easy victory. India won the series by 4 to 1. Yuvraj had an unbeaten score of 107 off 93 balls. He was named Man of the Match and also Man of the series.

The Punjabi player slayed England when he shot 6 sixes of an over. Wikimedia commons
The Punjabi player slew England when he shot 6 sixes off an over. Wikimedia Commons

3. 103 vs South Africa

Another five-match ODI series, this time with South Africa in 2005. Though India lost this match by 5 wickets, Yuvraj Singh had scored 103 off 122 balls, it included 10 boundaries, out which 3 were sixes. He scored this century when the top batting order had failed. Singh had scored three centuries in that series, all three under pressure.

4. 110 vs West Indies

He was the playing in the sixth match of the Indian Oil Cup in Colombo on 7th August 2005. Yuvraj Singh is remembered for this match due to his angry gestures and annoyance at coach Greg Chappell’s criticism of his batting. He had steadied the score to 262 with 110 after the top order failed. India won the match by 7 runs.

5. 118 and 4/28 vs England

He picked four important wickets in this match, which included Andrew Flintoff and Kevin Pietersen. On 17th November 2008, it was the second ODI between India and England at Indore. He contribution was 118 to a 292 total score. India won the match by 54 runs.

Yuvraj Singh plays all forms of Cricket, he is an all-rounder. Wikimedia commons
Yuvraj Singh plays all forms of Cricket, he is an all-rounder. Wikimedia Commons

6. 58 vs England

This was the grand record-making match. It was in this match that Yuvraj hit 6 sixes off 6 balls. He scored 58 runs off 16 balls during the Super Eights match between England and Indian during ICC Twenty20 Cricket World Championship. India had won the game by 18 runs.

Also read: Has Cricket affected India positively or Negatively?

7. 70 vs Australia

Semi Final match between India and Australia of the inaugural Twenty20 World Cup. In this match, the hits flowed off his bat in torrents and piloted India to a magnificent 188 in 20 overs. Yuvraj underlined his importance with a catch which sent back the dangerous Mike Hussey. India won the match by 15 runs.

8. 2/44 and 57 vs Australia

This was Ricky Ponting’s last match. The quarter-final match of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 between India and Australia. He guided his team to a competitive total of 260. But Yuvraj foiled his plans with an all-around performance. He sent Brad Haddin and Michael Clarke to the pavilion and also scored a vital half-century which resulted in India’s unforgettable win.

The Test of My Life is Yuvraj Singh's autobiography. Wikimedia commons
The Test of My Life is Yuvraj Singh’s autobiography. Wikimedia Commons

9. 69 vs England

This was a time when India had consequently lost 9 one-day finals. England gave a heavy target of 326. India lost 5 wickets after the 1 wicket got off. When Tendulkar fell, many switched off their televisions as he went back to pavilion. However, there were two men still standing on the crease. Yuvraj Singh and Mohammad Kaif made a marvellous partnership that led to India winning the match. This was the match in after which Saurav Ganguly took off his shirt at Lord’s.