Budgam, June 22: As Charar-e-Sharief Premier League Tuesday kick-started, Kashmir’s top-level cricketers hailed organisers for preparing a turf wicket on their own.
With only a few turf wickets available in whole Kashmir, preparing one at local level is a tough job. However, a few youngsters at Charar took it all to themselves and laid down at turf at Sheikh-ul-Alam Stadium.
The inaugural match at this newly-made track attracted some top-level cricketers to the venue. The likes of Amir Aziz, Umar Nazir, Owais Shah – all current first-class cricketers –took part in the first match played between RPCC and Mudit Mavericks.
Special guests on the occasion were Israr from Budgam Cricket Association, fomer cricketer, Nisar Ahmad Khanday, and others.
“We saw this kind of interesting cricket first time in Charar-e-Sharief and it’s very fortunate to see our local ground attracting cricket stars”, said a local.
A top cricketer playing the event said that he hadn’t seen a better turf wicket at local level ever before in Kashmir valley. He credited the organisers and locals for making it possible.
“Being a historical town in valley, it is very unfortunate to see that the administration is not providing enough funds to groom cricket more here, but our youth has taken a great initiative and are already seeing success”, a local player said.
Organisers said they didn’t receive any support from administration in preparing this turf.
“We have done this all by overselves and nothing from administration came in for our support, despite several requests. We have now asked Budgam Cricket Association to provide us funds, so that we keep the turf live and our players could play here. They have assured to provide us the support”, Ishafaq Ahmad, one of the organisers of this league, said.
The organisers have already spent about a lakh in laying down the turf and pulling off other arrangements from their own pockets.
“From preparing this turf to maintenance of the cricket ground, we have spent at least one lakh rupees from our own pocket but not a penny was provided by officials”, Bhat Morifat, another organiser, said.
Locals claimed that during ‘My Town My Pride’ (a government initiative), many things to this ground were promised by administration but nothing of that had been provided as of now.
“We are very happy to see our efforts bearing fruits. We can finally say that we’ve somehow succeeded in our mission. We are keen to work on more leagues and groom more talent here ar Chrar”, the organisers said.