The future of Kashmir cricket?
Unless the situation eases, the upcoming cricket season is expected to be severely impacted.
'My mind and heart are with Kashmir.' All-rounder Irfan Pathan, who has just returned from Kashmir, tweeted in support of the Kashmiri people in the face of extraordinary political conflict in the state.
The Kashmir Cricket Board had asked Irfan Pathan and member of his his team to return home from the Kashmir Valley as soon as possible. Pathan and his teammates were in Kashmir to help with the training of the Jammu and Kashmir cricket team. Irfan, with coach Milap Mewada and trainer Sudarshan VP, has helped out since last season. In a statement issued by Syed Aashiq Hussain Bukhari, the chief executive officer of the Kashmir Selection Committee, he said the selectors, who are not from Kashmir, have been asked to leave and return later.
"We have sent about 100 cricketers back home. The cricketers were sent home from the Sher-i-Kashmir Stadium in Srinagar. There is no certainty what will happen in the current political situation. Therefore, it was decided to suspend the training," said Sayed Bukhari.
It is expected that Kashmir will be severely affected in the upcoming cricket season if the tensions following the constitutional amendment do not ease. The Duleep Trophy begins on August 17. The Vijay Hazare Trophy and the Ranji Trophy are due to start in December, but it is doubtful whether the Kashmir cricket team will be active in domestic cricket this season.
The new political moves in the Kashmir Valley have also made the fate of many cricketers like Indians spinner Pervez Rasool, and Mumbai Indians' newcomer paceman Rasik Dhar, uncertain.
[Autotranslated from Malayalam]