Most of us have only looked at cricketers as glamour kings who rake in big money and date models. However, on the not so rosy side, a career in cricket sometimes involves all sorts of hardships and the survivors are those who really want to make big in the field. The story of hard-hitting Kashmiri batsman Manzoor Ahmed Dar, getting selected into the Kings XI Punjab team during the recently concluded IPL auctions, is one such case.
It was a dream come true for Dar who worked as a labourer on a daily wage of Rs 60 before getting the IPL contract worth Rs 20 lakh. The burly batsman, who earned a name for hitting 100 metre sixes, got selected as the last player for the Kings XI Punjab. With the newly acquired fame, Dar can now see a better life for him and his large family living in a nondescript village in Bandipora district.
He told PTI:
“I am really thankful to god for this opportunity, also KXIP and Preity (Zinta) mam. My life has been full of struggle and when I finally found a team (at auction), I thought about the time I used to earn Rs 60 in the village as a daily labourer.”
Dar, who idolises cricketers like Kapil Dev and MS Dhoni, said that he always wanted to hit sixes like Dhoni.
Getting selected for the IPL as the lone player from Kashmir meant a big thing for his small village and the entire state. Dar belongs to Suganpora Ganastan, a remote village of Kashmir’s Sumbal town. Videos of the locals dancing on the streets have been going viral.
Former Indian cricketer Mohammad Kaif too supported Dar’s inclusion and tweeted:
What a wonderful feeling it must be for Manzoor Dar to watch the celebrations.If instead of a gun,the youth pick up a bat,if instead of stones,the youth pick up a ball,the atmosphere in Kashmir will become beautiful.They need to be encouraged to play a sport & govt should support pic.twitter.com/BppeduLPye
— Mohammad Kaif (@MohammadKaif) February 1, 2018