Srinagar: Amidst civil strife, political violence,social unrest, and administrative apathy,Real Kashmir has been lost. For the last three decades or so, play fields in the entire valley have become battlefields. This, it seems, will change now. In a major development, cutting across party lines and political ideologies, it has been resolved that complete and unequivocal support will be extended to Real Kashmir.
As Real Kashmir readies to battle it out with giants across the length and breadth of the country, they are buoyed by the fact that the entire state of Jammu and Kashmir will be rooting for them; in their homes, on the streets and at the venues. Leading the brigade of supporters for the reclaiming of Real Kashmir are the youth and youngsters of the valley. Bereft of any iconic figures, they see their aspirations being fulfilled by the bands of next door neighbour boys, the local heroes using the feet to script a new course.
In a surprising development, the support for the mission is also coming from all corners of the country. Most enthusiasts and keen observers of the great game are not only encouraging this movement but are putting their weight behind the Davids to beat the Golaiths. Even as the entire community and ever increasing fan base is praying for a win, they also believe that Real Kashmir is not about winning or losing; it is about changing the destiny.Whether they win on lose, they are winners; winning the hearts and minds of the people of state. They will be remembered as the new generation that dared to rewrite history and change the future of Kashmir. Even before they step into the arena, they have spread positivity around. It has ignited the belief in our people and passion in the souls of a bruised society. Most analysts see the emergence of Real Kashmir from a new perspective: a home grown story powerful enough to assuage if not alleviate the pervasive pain and paranoia. But above all, keen observers say, what Real Kashmir has done is to unite all of Kashmir; there is more unity in the end game, diversity in dialogue and intimacy in sharing joys and sorrows.
Old timers, who have lived when Kashmir would captain and lead the country, get goose bumps on hearing the streets talk and sotto voce in the underbellies of Srinagar about the new movement of Real Kashmir; their achievements and conquests. That Real Kashmir has got international acceptability with engagement in Germany and Scotland, is a new ray of hope on the global horizons.
Their support will go a long way in the emergence of Real Kashmir as a global institution.In this, the greatest push has come with a multinational sportswear giant, Adidas whole-heartedly backing this new wave of change. One that promises hope and positivity through sports. This global brand is now a partner which will help realise the dream of Real Kashmir. As Dave Thomas, CEO elaborates, “Adidas believes that sports can change lives and it resonates with the current positivity in Kashmir. We are proud to be a part of this change, one that you are bringing about in the valley.”
A CALL TO FOOTBALL!
A few decades ago when Kashmir was truly a paradise, not just because of its natural beauty but also because of the carefree and uncomplicated lives that people used to lead here, I would often see frolicking children play football. It was a joy to behold. There was obvious talent on display; discernible to the untrained eye. There was passion on display. And there was fierce competition even in a friendly game with stones as goal posts. We would take great pride in the fact that a Kashmiri was the captain of the national football team. There was no hype but Majid Kakroo was a household name. Masses would troop in to watch a game at the Bakshi Stadium or F&S Ground with a commitment that can be only second to religion. A good goal was applauded and a narrow miss appreciated. A loss wasn’t mourned but remembered to be avenged in the next game. As time went by, those days and their excitement, more or less, died down. A norm once, youth playing football, gradually, became an exception. Now, it seems that those days may just be returning. As an ode to the possibility of Real Kashmir Football Club (RKFC) leading the way for this change,we are doing our bit. For the cause of returning our lost glory, for the cause of aspiring to excel and for the cause of giving our children a normal childhood, we break a two-decade-old tradition and take sports on our front page. We dedicate it to the hope masses have in RKFC to herald a new chapter in Kashmiri football and indeed Indian and global football. To all my young sons in the squad, I ask, as a father and a football enthusiast, give me a good game before I slip into oblivion. Give me hope that it will get better and better so that I can hang my boots with satisfaction. The future, on the field and off it, belongs to you. Go! The world is yours to conquer.
Khudais kaermav hawaale!
ICC World Cup 2019: Team India to don new jersey for away matches
The hype surrounding the ongoing World Cup in England and Wales is on an escalation with the tournament only a week away. The mega event is scheduled to get underway on May 30 and Team India is deemed as one of the favourites to get their hands on the coveted trophy. All the teams wear special kits for the World Cup and the Indian team also had unveiled their jersey for the tournament, however, there’s an addition to it.
As per the ICC’s World Cup schedule, the teams have home and away matches. The Men in Blue will not actually be completely Blue when they play those away games. The Indian team will play with a new and differently coloured clothing for all the away matches in the tournament. Their first match is against South Africa on June 5 at the Rose Bowl in Southampton.
Their away matches are versus Afghanistan on June 22 at The Rose Bowl in Southampton and versus hosts England on June 30 at the Edgbaston in Birmingham. As many as four teams- England, India, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan- have blue as their preferred colour. However, since England are the hosts, the other teams will have to change their colours when they lock horns with the Eoin Morgan-led Brits.
Different outfits for Team India
India’s jersey is yet to be released and will see the players wear a darker blue in the front, whereas orange will dominate the sleeves as well as the back.
On the other hand, teams like Pakistan, Bangladesh and South Africa have a common colour – green jerseys. As a result, these teams will also need to look for alternatives for a few matches in the tournament. Australia, Windies and New Zealand should not have to change the colours since they already having distinct jerseys.
The opening match of the World Cup will be played between hosts England and South Africa at the Kennington Oval in London. Apart from India, England are also on the expected winner’s list for the 50-overs tournament as they are ICC’s number-one ranked ODI team at the moment.
ICC World Cup 2019: Sachin Tendulkar picks his semi-finalists ahead of WC
Legendary India cricketer Sachin Tendulkar has given his opinion into which four teams he feels will enter the semi-finals of the ICC World Cup 2019 which is scheduled to be played between May 30 and July 14 in England and Wales.
“India, England, Australia should be in the semis. The fourth could be one of New Zealand or Pakistan,” Tendulkar was quoted as saying by ESPN Cricinfo. ((Complete coverage of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019))
Earlier, speaking to Hindustan Times, Tendulkar had said India have a well-balanced squad and they are capable of pulling off something special in UK.
“We have a balanced team which can go out and do something special. The whole team has to chip in, there will be some performers (in different situations, who must say) ‘this is my game; I am batting well or bowling well’. Support is needed from the other end also,” the Master Blaster said.
Tendulkar also heaped praise on wicket-keeper batsman Mahendra Singh Dhoni and said he has a big role to play for Team India.
“Not only in batting, also behind the stumps. He has got the best view; the batters are always looking for the gaps and what areas to target. Standing behind the batsmen, he can see that. He has plenty of suggestions to make and that would come in handy,” Tendulkar said.
“His contribution will be in the form of an experienced keeper observing the game and making suggestions. Also, his experience while batting—how to play those critical moments, how to rotate the strike, when to strike, and when to just build a partnership—will count.”
The first match of the World Cup will be played between England and South Africa on May 30 while India open their campaign against South Africa on June 5.
Before that, the ‘Blue Brigade’ will take on New Zealand and Bangaldesh in two practice matches on Saturday and Tuesday respectively.
India’s 15-member squad: Virat Kohli (C), Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Vijay Shankar, MS Dhoni, Kedar Jadhav, Dinesh Karthik, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami.
Shakib tops ICC ODI all-rounders list
Dubai: Senior Bangladesh cricketer Shakib Al Hasan Wednesday jumped to the top of the latest MRF Tyres ICC ODI rankings for all-rounders, which doesn’t feature a single Indian in the top-10 chart.
Shakib, 32, grabbed the top spot just ahead of the ODI World Cup after showcasing fine form during the tri-nation series in Ireland, which Bangladesh famously won to claim their first title in a multi-nation tournament.
In the three matches of the series, Shakib totalled 140 runs, including two unbeaten half-centuries and also picked up two wickets.
Shakib now has 359 points, 20 clear of Afghanistan’s Rashid Khan, the previous holder of the top ranking, who has now slipped to No. 2.
Rashid’s Afghanistan team-mate Mohammad Nabi completes the top three, with 319 points.
Pakistan are the only other team to have two players in the top 10, with Imad Wasim at No. 4 and Mohammad Hafeez claiming the seventh spot.
They are separated by New Zealand’s Mitchell Santner (No.5) and England’s Chris Woakes, who leapfrogged four places to No. 6.
West Indies captain Jason Holder is their top-ranked all-rounder at number eight spot followed by Zimbabwe’s Sikandar Raza and Angelo Mathews of Sri Lanka.England’s Ben Stokes missed out on the top 10 by one spot, finishing eight points behind Mathews.
Kedar Jadhav, who is part of India’s World Cup team and is recovering from a shoulder injury, is the best-placed Indian at joint 12th spot alongside South Africa’s Andile Phehlukwayo and Moeen Ali of England.
Hardik Pandya completes the top 20 list.