Srinagar (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], May 17 (ANI): Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association is conducting special trials after COVID-19 to promote the sport in the valley.
The trials are open for all categories, including Seniors. The players have shown tremendous response to this initiative and are coming to attend these trials with a lot of vigour and excitement, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic, during which these players were confined to their homes due to the highly infectious nature of the disease.
But now that things are normal, the trials are in full swing. This comes during the days of the Indian Premier League in which players from the Union Territory like Umran Malik and Abdul Samad have got chances to showcase their skills.
The morale of the participants is very high and they have hopes that more youngsters from the valley will get the chance to play in IPL and showcase their talents at the national and international levels too. Under the supervision of professional coaches, trainers and selectors, a large number of young players from far-flung areas are participating in the trials at the Sher-e-Kashmir Stadium.
The administration is trying its level best to attract energetic players and provide them with all facilities aimed to revive and promote cricket on a large scale.
Sameer Ahmad, a player, said, "A trial was started last year too. There are a lot of talented players in Kashmir. There are many players who did not get a chance but are now getting chances. When players get chances, only then we can find how good they are. A lot of players do not progress because of lack of chances."
Another player named Sheikh Usad said "It is a great initiative. Because of IPL, there is a lot of craze about cricket. Parents want their kids to play, it will highlight local talent, which will be groomed. There are trials in other districts too. First, there are senior trials, then players will be shortlisted. Then they will play matches, after which they will be shortlisted again, Jammu players will undergo trials too, they will be shortlisted, matches will be played and players will be shortlisted, finally, the Ranji team will be made.
Sheikh Majid, the Administrative Head, Kashmir Cricket said, "Cricket and IPL have become commercialised. That is why, many want it as a profession now. This talent hunt is going on in Kashmir Valley and Jammu simultaneously, we started from Women and Men's U-19, then to the U-23 categories and now we are having Seniors trials. Now from the valley, 90 boys will be shortlisted. After playing matches, some players will be shortlisted and will be in camps. It is all performance-based."
Majid added that when state players become stars, they become a huge source of encouragement and inspiration for the youngsters.
"Umran Malik is a huge inspiration for the youth. There is no substitution for hard work," he added. (ANI)