Valley’s hard-hitting sensation says poverty never overran his passion for the game
Srinagar, Feb 21: His journey to the top most Cricket league in the world has not been a cakewalk as every time growing responsibilities at home would throw a major challenge in front of him. But Valley’s newest pinch-hitting sensation, Manzoor Ahmad Dar alias Pandav, successfully dodged all the hardships and made it to the Kings XI Punjab for Rs 20 lakhs for Indian Premiere League (IPL). Dar, being the second Kashmiri to achieve the feat says his passion for cricket was never subdued by the responsibilities to eke out a livelihood. In an exclusive interview with The Kashmir Monitor, Dar said he had to support the family and ensure that all his siblings went to school. “However, at the same time, I never left playing cricket and honing my skills,” Dar said. Being born in a farmer’s family as the eldest of the eight children, including four brothers and four sisters, Dar worked as a woodcutter and as a security guard to meet their expenses. “I was in Jammu for the trials when I heard that I have been selected for the IPL, the moment that I can never forget. I called up my mother. She began crying,” Dar added. He said that he always played the short format of the game and wanted to play at the national level and for the IPL but never thought it will happen so soon. A right-handed batsman and medium-pace bowler, Dar debuted for Jammu and Kashmir in February 2017 for the Vijay Hazare Trophy. Living in a village that has no playground did not deter Dar to pursue his sporting career reflecting the passion and dedication he has for the game. Friends and relatives are distributing sweets to well-wishers since Dar was selected for the upcoming IPL season. Villagers from nearby districts have been visiting the family ever since. He is an inspiration for all those who have passion and dedication for sports. “I hope to end our hardships now and support my family,” he said.