Suhail Ahmad: The Kupwara Batsman Yearning To Play For J&K

HANDWARA: 24-year-old Suhail Ahmad Bhat of Kupwara district has been hitting scintillating sixes and fours since he took a bat in his hand.

The right handed powerhouse has been mesmerizing his spectators across the frontier district with his breathtaking scores.

The young lad has scored 14 centuries so far in the local cricket leagues at all of the cricket fields in the district and yearns to play at the Jammu and Kashmir State level.

"From my childhood, I have liked to play and score runs like Sachin Tendulkar, Brain Lara and Shahid Afridi. I wanted to be a combo of style and hitting. Watching all these top batters smashing bowlers across the field has given me the strength and skill to play the ball," Suhail told Kashmir News Service (KNS), donning a white jersey.

The young boy from Mawer area of Handwara tehsil in Kupwara district has played one magnificient innings after another in district level competitions like the JKCA League, Bangus Valley League, Chinar League Bakiakar.

Recently, he scored 128 runs against Kupwara at Galizoo Kupwara ground in the Angel T-20 Trophy at Kulangam in Handwara.

"I have much ahead to go and many milestones to cross in order to reach the level of top cricketers of the State. I yearn to play for JK and then for India," he says.

Suhail is flexible in his batting position and is equally competent at opening the innings or batting in the middle order. He can also tweak the ball if needed, as he is more than a handy bowler at the domestic level.

"I want to play in leagues like IPL and others to learn more skills and get as much exposure in the game. Rubbing shoulders with big names gives you confidence and lifts up the spirit," he says.

"IPL sets the platform for you where international big names are watching you. From there I want to play in the national team. I am working hard to achieve this milestone," he says.

What youngsters like Suhail lack are the cricket coaches and academies in Kashmir Valley.

Scant sports infrastructure is available only in Srinagar city and aspiring players like Suhail don't have the facilities at their districts.

"Kupwara is a frontier district and neglected almost in all sectors. For sportsmen like me there is nothing to hone our skills with. Stadia are less and no turf available where a player can compete or practice. Government must chin in to provide us infrastructure so that we can practice and sweat out to achieve our goals," he added.

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