Young cricketer's death during a match triggers debate

ESS AHMAD. Dated: 7/16/2019 10:40:40 AM

Experts question functioning of sports authorities

ANANTNAG, July 14: While the death of a young cricketer during a match in Nanil area of Anantnag district on Thursday shocked the cricket lovers across the valley, the cricket experts have questioned the functioning of sports authorities organising such tournaments.
Taking to social networking sites many cricket experts who have played the game at national level have accused the authorities of not only destroying the talent of the young cricketers by making them play matting cricket but also putting their lives at risk.
A young cricketer Jahangir Ahmed War from Pattan area of Baramulla died on Thursday after being hit by the ball in neck while trying to execute a pull shot.
The under 19 inter-district cricket tournament is being organised by the youth services and sports department. All the matches of the tournament will be played at different sports grounds of Anantnag.
Former known cricketer who has played many high profile cricket tournaments at national level, Samiullah Beg took to popular social networking site, face book and expressed his dissatisfaction over the facilities being provided to the young talented cricketers of the valley by sports department and other sports bodies.
"Sports based organisations like youth services and sports department, J&K sports council or Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association are duty bound to provide best possible facilities for the tournaments organised by them. It takes not more than few bucks to hire a heavy roller and roll the pitch before asking young boys to play upon it," Beg wrote on facebook.
Beg described the lack of turf pitches and forcing young cricketers to play matting cricket on uneven pitches as highly unfortunate.
"While matting cricket is destroying the talent and turf pitches should have been laid for such officially organised tournaments, there can be no excuse to lay matting on any bare surface having umpteen inundations and as such putting lives of hundreds of boys at risk. Sports organisations should realise their duties in ensuring safety of players and provide quality pitches for them to play, which right now they are not, unfortunately".
Commenting on Beg's post, a cricket loving face book user, Malik Yaseen described the incident as “a murder”.
"We are forced to play mat cricket by concerned people which is very dangerous. We have no option but to play this mat cricket because we have no turf wickets available here. If the concerned authorities would spend money on making turfs instead of buying mats and other futile things, this incident wouldn't have taken place," Malik wrote.
Another cricketer, Audil Dar in his comments shared his experience of playing on the pitch where the young cricketer died.
"Have played on the wicket on which the incident happened. Cool place to play cricket but not the pitch to bat or bowl. Played only once and enjoyed as I smacked few but got hit as well, luckily came out safe at the end. Bounce of the pitch is not even but the mat makes it more dangerous than it looks like," Dar wrote.
He further wrote that he never played on the pitch again keeping in view the uneven conditions of the same.
District youth services and sports officer Anantnag, Noor Mohammad admitted that they don't have turf pitches available and are making the young cricketers play matting cricket.
"No we are not using roller on the pitches but I would tell you one thing that the pitch where the incident happened is one of the best and smooth pitches to play upon. In district we have only one turf pitch in Bijbehara and on rest of the pitches we lay mat before the match is being played," the officer told the Kashmir Times.
He, however, said such incidents happen even on international pitches.
"It is not the question of whether the pitches are rolled or not. Such things can happen in cricket. Didn’t you see how a player in the recent world cup match was hit by the ball and bled," the officer said.
The department, he said, is trying to provide best facilities to the cricketers.
"You will see a lot of improvement in coming years," the officer said.



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