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!
South Africa will learn from defeat:du Plessis
PORT ELIZABETH: South Africa skipper Faf du Plessis has said that his side will learn from their defeat to Pakistan in the first One-day International at St George’s Park in Port Elizabeth.
The Proteas were given a timely reminder of how much work lies ahead before the Cricket World Cup in May as they lost by five wickets.
Hashim Amla’s 27th ODI century and debutant Rassie van der Dussen’s 93 was not enough for the Proteas, who lost only two wickets in scoring 266 runs after winning the toss.
The experienced Mohammad Hafeez’s 71 and opener Imam-ul-Haq’s 86 steered the tourists to their first win of their away series after they were well-beaten in all three Test matches.
Du Plessis felt that his team were short of where they should have been.
“The two guys [Amla and van der Dussen] batted really well, but perhaps there were 10 or 15 runs that we could have pushed a little harder for,” he said after the opening fixture of the five-match series. “Pakistan bowled better than us over fifty overs here. And then they batted really well [too], you have to give credit where it’s due. Some great learnings for us, and we know where we can get better,” said the South African captain.
“An in-form Hashim Amla is great for us. Rassie played beautifully, he had intent right through his innings. We need to adapt. You’re not going to always get conditions for the fast bowlers,” du Plessis added.
Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed also credited his batsmen for their first win of the tour. “The batting was very responsible,” a relieved Sarfraz said. “In the middle overs, Shadab [Khan] was great, as well as Imad [Wasim]. And the way our fast bowlers bowled was very good. And then the way Imam and Hafeez controlled the match in the run chase was simply outstanding.”
Man-of-the-match Hafeez remarked the South Africa total was below par. “It’s a team effort,” the veteran right-hander said. “It was not a par score on this track, so we were confident chasing it. To be very honest, we were very sure as a team we should chase this one. The start given by Fakhar [Zaman] and Imam was brilliant, Babar [Azam] gave us momentum.”
With this win, Pakistan maintained their unbeaten record at St George’s Park. They have now won three out of the four matches they have played at the venue, with one match ending without result.The second game, also a day/nighter, takes place at Kingsmead in Durban on Tuesday.
Cricket a special part of my life but not the priority: Kohli
Mumbai :Indian skipper Virat Kohli has established himself as one of the world’s greatest batsmen in the modern-day cricket. Known for his committment and hardwork on the field, Kohli has been breaking records constantly and it seems that there is no turning back for the 30-year-old.
Having enjoyed a record-breaking 2018 year, Kohli continued his good form in this year as well as he not only achieved several individual records but also guided India to historic twin victories in Australia.
Kohli, the world’s no.1 Test and ODI batsman, guided India through a historic tour of Australia, during which the side clinched the Test and ODI series by 2-1 and settled with a 1-1 draw in the T20I series.
However, the swashbuckling batsman stated on his official app that though cricket is an important part of his life, his family still remains his biggest priority.
“Eight years down the line the priority would be my family, priority would be myself, Anushka and our family only by then. So that would be the priority for us. And cricket would obviously a part of my life always but I feel that family should be a priority at all times because nothing is bigger than life. Cricket is a part of life and nothing should be bigger than life. I know people will take things a bit too seriously that if you don’t say cricket is your life then you are not committed enough, I don’t believe in all that. If I am committed to talking right now about something, I am committed to this,” Kohli said.
He further went on to say,”But the larger picture always has to be life because whatever happens you come back home and whatever may happen in your life, you always come back home. So I think, the priority will be family, should be family and cricket will always be a very special part of my life but it is not the most important thing in life, it is the way I see it. But I think eight years down the line I will be totally focused towards my family.”
During India’s tour to Australia, Kohli added many records to his tally.
By smashing his 39th One-Day International century during India’s six-wicket win over Australia in the second match at the Adelaide Oval, Kohli became the second cricketer with most hundreds overseas. With 22 tons to his name now, the Indian skipper surpassed Sanath Jayasuriya and Kumar Sangakkara who both have 21 centuries in their tally.
En route to his blistering knock, he also became the 11th highest run-scorer in the history of ODI cricket.With a total of 10,385 ODI runs in his tally, Kohli has went past Sri Lanka’s Tilakratne Dilashan (10,290 runs).
He has now brought up a total of 64 international hundreds to become the third batsman with most international centuries, overtaking former Sri Lankan cricketer Kumar Sangakkara (63).
MU star set to join Ronaldo at JuventusSports
London: Manchester United defender Matteo Darmian is set to move to Serie A giants Juventus on a six-month loan deal till the end of the 2018-19 season. The loan move will end Darmian’s misery at the Old Trafford as the full-back has struggled to leave a mark since moving in from Italian side Torino in 2015. The 29-year-old has just made 91 appearances in three and a half years for the Red Devils and have just played six matches this season.
According to GOAL, the loan move will cost Juventus 3 million Pounds, but the Old Lady will secure Darmian’s signing in the summer for free as his contract is set to expire after the end of this season. The signing of Darmian will allow Leonardo Spinazzola to move to Bologna from Juventus. Darmian featured for the Red Devils in their 2-1 win over Brighton and Hove Albion in the Premier League, but it seems like that will be the right-back’s final game in the red jersey.
Darmian has played for AC Milan and Palermo and has 36 appearances for Italy to his name. Juventus would be bolstering their defense with Darmian’s signing and will expect that the full-back gives tough competition to their present options at the club.
Meanwhile, Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer confirmed on Friday that the Red Devils won’t be making any signings in the ongoing January transfer window and will go to the remaining matches with the present squad. For United’s full-back options, Solksjaer has the likes of Antonio Valencia, Luke Shaw, Diogo Dalot and Ashley Young and will hope that the levels remain the same since his takeover from Jose Mourinho, who was sacked following Manchester United’s 3-1 defeat to arch-rivals Liverpool in the December Premier League match.
Manchester United are currently sixth in the league table with 44 points to their name after the completion of 23rd game-week in the Premier League 2018-19.