Jammu cricketers face worst discrimination, JKCA treats them as pariah

Renu Kotwal

Jammu, Dec 24: 

Jammu cricketers have disappointments and complaints against Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association (JKCA). From unfair selections and fewer opportunities compared to Kashmiri cricketers to lack of infrastructure and high-level corruption, cricketers demand major reforms in JKCA.

Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association (JKCA) has always grabbed the attention of national newspapers for its high level of corruption. JKCA allegedly misused the funds given by BCCI. Despite getting good funds from BCCI, it still lacked majorly in infrastructure.

J&K’s cricketers are in miserable condition not only because of lack of infrastructure but also because of nepotism and favouritsm. JKCA has been in trouble since 2015. In 2015, High court ordered a CBI probe against former CM Farooq Abdullah and other senior officials of JKCA. In 2012, a scam was reported by Muhmmad Aslam Goni who was then Association Chairman.
He told that a huge amount from the total of 112 crore was transferred into a non-official account. Senior officials and Farooq Abdullah were involved in this misuse of funds.
CBI was given a deadline of 6 months to complete the enquiry but from three years the enquiry is still incomplete and the cricketers are still suffering. Though, in last couple of years some good changes have been made. Irfan Pathan is appointed as player cum mentor of Jammu and Kashmir team. Irfan Pathan’s discovery Rasikh Salam dar a 17-year-old pacer got selected in IPL this year.
The corruption of JKCA is famous in all big news newspapers and channels but this issue is not given any importance in Jammu and Kashmir. This is an issue of Jammu and Kashmir’s youth which needs to be addressed. Because of unfair practices of JKCA, the talented crickters of the state are disappointed.
The Straight line talked with some cricketers from Jammu to know the ground realities of cricket in the state. Requesting anonymity, the cricketers talked about the corruption of JKCA which has destroyed many dreamers who dreamt of playing for the state and country.

“Your career doesn’t depend on your skill to play but on sifarish. We are happy that our young brother from Kashmir got selected in IPL and we don’t have any issue with Kashmiri players. We have issues with JKCA. They discriminate between Jammu’s and Kashmir’s players. They both lack facilities but one extra thing that we Jammu cricketers lack is opportunity,” said a twenty-eight year old professional cricketer of J&K.

He also said,”Less skilled Kashmiri players are selected over skilled players from Jammu. We are facing discrimination right from the beginning.”
“The  J&k cricket team performs badly everywhere because of unfair selection. JKCA at the time of trial, forcefully makes bowlers bat and asks batsmen to bowl. The wicketkeeper with maximum points never gets selected by JKCA. The cricketers of Jammu are always discriminated against because the officials are from Kashmir. We are one team and they need to understand that it is not Jammu v/s Kashmir,” said another cricketer.

“I have been working hard on my batting and bowling from last 6-7 years but still I didn’t get a single chance to play for JKCA. We are not even given a single chance to play in Ranji Trophy match, forget about international matches. It’s only either exteremly good luck or sifarish,” said another disappointed cricketer.

He also said, “JKCA is corrupt and sometimes it crosses all the limits. Some players here are working day and night from last 7-8 years to make into Ranji trophy but JKCA sees only Sifarshi players. It is a big reason that no player from Jammu and Kashmir couldn’t make it big in cricket internationally,” said a cricketer who is no more active in J&K cricket but plays for private cricket clubs because he has no other option.

He also said, “It’s not like we didn’t raise our voice. We did but nothing happened. Media make our issue an agenda for two days and then everything remains same. I have seen exteremly talented cricketers who are now sitting at homes. They are now running business or doing something else”