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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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War of Words Between Associations, Irks Ganguly

"The CAB had done nothing about it for a long time. For the pair, it was business as usual till the letter came and stirred a hornet's nest," a source close to the development said.

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Ganguly shot off a letter, a copy of which was circulated to the media, asking Banerjee not to pay heed to such cases since the complainant did not reveal his or her identity. Flickr
Ganguly shot off a letter, a copy of which was circulated to the media, asking Banerjee not to pay heed to such cases since the complainant did not reveal his or her identity. Flickr

An anonymous letter has triggered a war words between Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) ombudsman Ushanath Banerjee and state board President Sourav Ganguly over alleged conflict of interest of selectors Palash Nandy and Madan Ghosh.

Banerjee had received an anonymous letter a few days back which pointed out that senior selection panel chief Nandy was associated with a cricket coaching camp.

Further, it alleged that Ghosh, who moved from the senior to junior selection recently was both associated with a coaching camp and had also represented White Border Club in CAB meetings previously.

“The CAB had done nothing about it for a long time. For the pair, it was business as usual till the letter came and stirred a hornet’s nest,” a source close to the development said.

Ganguly shot off a letter, a copy of which was circulated to the media, asking Banerjee not to pay heed to such cases since the complainant did not reveal his or her identity.

“The Cricket Association of Bengal will not entertain any such anonymous communication and as such you being an important part of the organisation should follow the same. I feel you are not entitled to give any reply,” Ganguly wrote.

"You have been incorrectly advised by persons without any homework being done and based on mere knowledge in the subject matter in issue," Banerjee wrote to Ganguly. Flickr
“You have been incorrectly advised by persons without any homework being done and based on mere knowledge in the subject matter in issue,” Banerjee wrote to Ganguly. Flickr

Banerjee hit back within hours using strong language. The four-page rejoinder was also circulated to the media.

Banerjee rejected the former India captain’s diktat, saying: “it is widely acknowledged that in the interest of maintaining transparency, organisations world over take cognizance of anonymous information.”

To butress his point, he cited in the letter examples of cases where the judiciary has acted on the basis of anonymous information.

“You have been incorrectly advised by persons without any homework being done and based on mere knowledge in the subject matter in issue,” Banerjee wrote to Ganguly.

“I humbly request you to kindly point out the said policy of CAB, as referred in your letter, and the date when so adopted,” the reply read.

Also Read: Sourav Ganguly receives Death threat in a Letter warning him against attending Vidyasagar University’s Cricket meet in Midnapore

When contacted, the senior advocate gave an impression that the issue had been resolved but did not want to be quoted on any further action. (IANS)