Srinagar: Some cricket enthusiasts from Kashmir living in Dubai, who initiated Kashmir Super League on the model of Indian and Pakistani versions last year aimed not only at satiating their cricketing appetite but also to provide Kashmiri diaspora spread across United Arab Emirates (UAE) an opportunity to come together.
Within no time the initiative got an overwhelming response from the Kashmiri community in the UAE and the number of teams increased from 4 to 8. Soon a Dubai based real estate firm Dre Homes extended support as the main sponsor. Later Stone House Real Estate and Ottomans International joined as co-sponsors.
The KSL succeeded in its goal of mobilising Kashmiri diaspora in the Persian Gulf country and this was attributed to the selfless efforts and contributions by volunteers, who worked day in and out to make this event a grand success.
The tournament set in the IPL format saw 51 matches. The final of the tournament will be played on March 24 at the Dubai International Stadium.
However on the eve of tournament finals, debate was raging on social media with some levelling accusations that an honest endeavour has been hijacked either for commercial gains and some even attributing political motive to the entire tournament.
The debate started soon after a 40 member delegation, comprising mostly of Srinagar based journalists and with some traders and lawyers thrown in, from Valley left for Dubai to join the final event.
Senior journalist Yusuf Jameel, who is part of the delegation soon after landing in Dubai, was at pains to reiterate in his Facebook post that he has been assured that the event is ‘apolitical’. And I have been assured -and reassured- that the event is apolitical.
Responding to Jameel, businessman Rafiq Kathwari wrote: Apolitical? Everything is political. Senior resistance leader Shakeel Bakhshi made a cryptic remark on Jameels thread: Aap bhi .
Journalist Mukhtar Baba wrote on his Facebook wall I wish to be wrong. Kashmir super league plan hijacked.
Joining the debate Er Saifuddin Shangloo wrote: The way a procession was arranged has given rise to speculations. After all who is paying for such a large entourage.
In case of individual invitation should there have been procession?
Responding to Er Shangloo, Aijaz Andrabi wrote: If I am not mistaken, the organisers have most probably arranged for the visas whereas the travel expenses/accommodation are to be borne by the participants. Yusuf Jameel sahib may be in a better position to throw light on this”. Jameel did not respond. However Er Shangloo replied:With due respects, journalists usually don’t spend their bit bcoz they always represent their employers at the cost of these very employers. This will perhaps be one of. Kudos!
Dubai based Kashmiri physician, Dr Riyaz Hamdani however posed a question: Who invited 40 member delegation to create hype about these low level mohalla matches and who arranged their visa and logistics? No one apparently knows.
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