Kashmir’s Saqib Majeed captures 2016 Wisden-MCC Cricket Photograph of the Year award

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SRINAGAR: A Srinagar based freelance photographer has done Kashmir proud, pocketing prestigious 2016 Wisden-MCC Cricket Photograph of the Year for his stunning image that captured boys playing cricket in the outskirts of the city.

Saqib Majeed- a civil engineer by profession- had captured the scene at picturesque Mughal Gardens of Srinagar with boys playing the cricket. No sooner the picture was published by Barcroft, it went viral getting the top reviews worldwide.

Saqib piped some ace sports photographers to walk away with the award. Marylebone Cricket Club, for decades, has been coming with its annual publication- Wisden Cricketer Almanack-that not only features top performers of the year but also features iconic pictures.

Saqib’s picture in Kashmir’s autumn setting certainly had all the ingredients to make the cut. It had nature’s own beauty coupled with cricketers playing the game in their own way that typifies the sport. And to top it, the man behind the camera having a feel of the occasion to capture the decisive moment. 

.”Saqib’s picture was absolutely breath-taking, and a very worthy winner,” said chairman of the judging panel, Chris Smith.”A fellow judge rightly observed that the image looked more like one of the paintings in the Pavilion than a digital photograph – which is testament to the quality of the winning image.”The last few winners of this competition have been action shots, so it was nice to be able to select something from outside the professional game.

 

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The Srinagar boy was unsurprisingly ecstatic over his effort. Did he visualize the shot before capturing it? No, he says.

“I was on a usual assignment on November 10 to take some autumn shots and there is no better place than Nishat area to take them. When I saw some playing cricket, I thought to myself let me take pictures that are different than ones shot by the my seniors overs the years,” Saqib told Kashmir Observer. “I tried straight shots, different angles before I settled myself with a top angle. And as they say rest is history.”

How did picture come into global reckoning?

“I mailed some seven pictures to Barcroft Media. And next day picture was published in Guardian’s print edition. It didn’t take celebrities and some top photographers to take notice. I was happy to see the reaction and felt proud of myself and my work,” says Saqib.

Saqib applied for MCC-Wisden competition after his friend asked to go for.

“I didn’t know anything about this award, but one of friends told me about it. I am happy to have won the competition and done my motherland proud,” says Saqib who doesn’t want to make photography a full time profession but would stick to be a freelancer. 

Besides Smith is the former Chief Sports Photographer of London’s The Sunday Times, the judging panel also included world-renowned cricket photographer Patrick Eagar, award-winning cricket photographer Adrian Murrell, former art director of The Cricketer magazine, Nigel Davies, former chief photographer of the New Musical Express, Kevin Cummins, and award-winning sports broadcaster Alison Mitchell.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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