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A secure govt job in hand but RKFC’s Shahnawaz won’t give up football for anything

Press Trust of India

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New Delhi :Quite often in India, sports is seen as a ladder to secure government jobs. But for Kashmiri footballer Shahnawaz Bashir, a secure government job happened much before his sporting career took off with a team which is aiming to make a mark in its I-League debut.

The mid-field pivot is among the starry-eyed footballers, who make up Real Kashmir FC, the first team from Jammu and Kashmir to secure a place in the I-League — the national football league.

The 30-year-old Bashir, who hails from Srinagar, has a secure government job but is unwilling to give up his sporting dreams even if it means a hectic life devoid some simple pleasures of life.

 

In a way, Bashir can be considered an odd man out in the Real Kashmir team as most of its players have part-time jobs, some are even daily-wage earners and a few still studying.

The side coached by Scotsman and former Rangers player David Robertson and has already scripted history by winning the second division league earlier this year.

“I am working as a senior accountant in the Accountant General’s office in Srinagar. It is a 9 to 5 job but I get some relaxations, I can join office one hour late. The AG (Accountant General) allows me do that as he knows the craze for football in Kashmir and the positive impact it is making,” Bashir told PTI in an interview.

“So, I train (at TRC Ground in Srinagar) with the team from 8am to around 10 am and rush to office at 11am. In the evening, I leave office a bit late, say 5:30 or 6pm. It is a hectic life but I am used to it and I am happy doing this,” said Bashir, whose father is a businessman.

The mid-fielder has no current financial problems to talk about but he has seen his share of hardships while growing up.

“My father is a small-time businessman and my mother a housewife. I did not have a football to kick or boots of my own and I had to borrow from others. Since my father also played football in his younger days, he has no issues with me playing the game.

“But my mother was initially opposed to it as she felt this would not take me anywhere. I joined a football academy (run by J & K Bank) and from there, I joined Lonestar Kashmir (which currently plays in second division I-League) and played there for three years (from 2014 to 2016). Last year, I joined Real Kashmir,” he said.

He also completed his Bachelors degree and got a permanent central government job.

Bashir admitted he may have difficulties in joining other clubs outside Srinagar because of his job. Despite this, he dreams of playing for the national team.

“Every footballer wants to be in the national team and I also dream of the same. I don’t think there will be any problem if I am selected in the national team. I can apply for leave from my office to be in national camps and for playing matches,” he said.

“Mehrajuddin Wadoo and Ishfaq Ahmed played for India and any of these players in Real Kashmir can play in the Indian team in future also, who knows. I am seeing a football revolution in Kashmir,” he said.

Bashir said except for a few instances in the past, the volatile situation in the valley does come in the way of the game.

“People from outside Kashmir may think differently but it is normal there as far as playing football is concerned. The problem is not much about the situation there but it is more about lack of infrastructure.”

Real Kashmir play their first match of the I-League against defending champions Minerva Punjab on October 31 in Panchkula. Their first home match is against Churchill Brothers of Goa on November 6.


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Rasikh Salam banned for two years for submitting faulty birth certificate

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Mumbai Indians and Jammu and Kashmir pacer Rasikh Salam has been handed a two-year ban by the BCCI after he was found to have submitted a faulty birth certificate to the board.

Subsequently, he has been removed from the under-19 squad that will travel to England to play in a tri-series and has been replaced by Prabhat Maurya.

Salam, a pacer from J&K, made news when he debuted for Mumbai Indians in this Indian Premier League. He was the third player from Jammu & Kashmir to get an IPL contract – after Parvez Rasool and Manzoor Dar – and only the second after Rasool to get into the playing XI. He hails from Ashmuji village in southern part of Kashmir, which is often said to be affected by curfew and power cuts. Mumbai Indians picked him for his base price of INR 20 lakh.

 

Earlier this week, IANS had reported that Salam could be in trouble for age fraud after the Jammu and Kashmir State Board of School Education informed JKCA that the age Salam gave the board doesn’t match the records they posses.

JKCA and the BCCI soon got involved in the matter and a two year ban was deemed appropriate.

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Dhoni could be ‘exposed’ by Yuvraj’s dad after World Cup

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Mumbai: Father of recently retired former Indian all-rounder Yuvraj Singh, Yograj has struck again, and all the signs point toward former captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

While the cricketer is busy preparing for India’s next clash against Pakistan on Sunday after rain played spoilsport on the much-hyped India-New Zealand clash, a recent video of Yograj has surfaced where he speaks about an ‘un-named’ player who is responsible for the ‘dirty politics’ in the Indian cricket team.

Yograj further goes on to state that this player is the reason that many players like Gautam Gambhir, Virender Sehwag, VVS Laxman, and his own son Yuvraj Singh were not included in the Indian team at crucial points in time.

 

While Yograj didn’t reveal much about the player he talks about, he did mention that he’d make the complete revelations after the currently ongoing 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup. Based on earlier allegations by Yograj, who was also a former pace bowler, towards then Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, It seems pretty evident that he is speaking of ‘Captain Cool’.

“I don’t want to take his name but he has been playing these dirty politics from the last 15 years. He has made lives difficult for Indian cricketers. I will make this revelation after the World Cup gets over. He will remember this for life that someone said something about him,” said Yograj.

“I don’t want to speak about him at this point in time because I don’t want the team to get affected during the World Cup,” he added.

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FIFA Rankings: India unmoved at 101

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London: The Indian national team remain unmoved in the June 2019 edition of the FIFA Rankings released.

Following India’s exit from the 2019 AFC (Asian Football Confederation) Asian Cup, India have had a change in coach with Igor Stimac replacing Stephen Constantine.

Under Stimac, India recently participated in the King’s Cup 2019 in Thailand where a 3-1 defeat against Curacao (79) was backed by a 1-0 win over hosts Thailand (116) in the third-place play-off.

 

GFX India FIFA Rankings June 2019

The Blue Tigers are set to face Tajikistan (120), DPR Korea (122) and Syria (85) in the upcoming Intercontinental Cup 2019 next. India enter the tournament as defending champions.

Meanwhile, in the global standings, Belgium continue to lead at the top having bettered their advantage over second-placed France who also stay put in their position, the same as Brazil and England at third and fourth spots respectively.

2019 UEFA Nations League champions Portugal have displaced Croatia to stand fifth while Spain (7) has gained two places. Germany (11 – tied with Argentina), Italy and Netherlands (both at 14) have also moved two places up.

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