Srinagar: Mushtaq Ahmad is a busy man these days. An admin of ‘JKSportstime’, he streams local cricket matches live in Kashmir.
A team of commentators also cover the proceedings of the games in English and Urdu languages thoroughly and some even have attracted a huge fan following.
Even a game between two mohallas or villages notches thousands of views on Mushtaq’s Facebook page.
“We first started streaming live cricket matches some five years ago. We got an overwhelming response and now we get invited to cover these matches. Others too have started streaming live matches but ‘JKSportstime’ has the maximum followers. There are occasions when organisers even change dates of a match in case we are busy elsewhere for live streaming and commentary,” Mushtaq told The Kashmir Monitor.
He said they initially started streaming matches to encourage the local talent.
“We wanted to give a platform to the young players especially from the rural areas. Nobody would cover local matches and the players, especially from the rural areas, had no exposure. Now, people keenly follow matches and we have covered almost all local tournaments like Bijbehara Premiere League, Srinagar T 20 Super League, Palhalan Super Cup, etc. We get lakhs of views overall. Recently, a Hokersar T-20 cricket match attracted 4.7k live viewers on Facebook. Having close to 5000 live views for a mohalla level match means a lot for us,” he said.
The commentators of these matches too have become very popular.
Nasir Dar (26), who has done masters in Political Science and a diploma in Tourism and Travel Management, said his growing popularity had surprised him.
“I have been doing commentary for the last 10 years. I mainly do commentary in Urdu/ Hindi and after live streaming of games, people from all across Kashmir know me now. I was surprised that in the comments section, even people who were above 60 years, were keenly following the matches. At the recent Bijbehara Premiere League inaugural match that we covered live, three ladies in their fifties specially came to meet me. I was overwhelmed when they told me that they watch all the matches that we cover on Facebook. The cricket grounds too are full of sports lovers when we cover these matches,” Nasir told The Kashmir Monitor.
The popularity of Nasir, who teams up with another English commentator, can be gauged from the comments they receive on social media.
“They both are fabulous and mind blowing….in short I can not describe their qualities in words,” wrote Shafayat on Facebook.