With the cricketing fever in the air, and Kashmiris making their motherland proud by the successful conductance of Kashmir Cricketing season & DAT20 Blast Dubai, we thought of introducing one of the key individuals in the league, someone who has been instrumental in shaping and strategizing the course of action for his team, ‘Chinar United’. He is none other than Mr. Ajaz Bakshi.
Ajaz Bhai as he is lovingly called, started early when it comes to cricket. In his childhood he used to follow his cousins to the famous clubs like Gymkhana and Amar Singh, where his curiosity and interest towards the game only grew stronger. It is from them that he learnt the basics of the game and started playing professional cricket from the age of 11. By the age of 12 he was already playing inter-division cricket (representing Kashmir) and eventually entered the A division scenario in Kashmir. He moved to Delhi for work and continued with his passion. He represented Idea Cellular India in 3 seasons and even won the national championship held in Pune in 2006 (Where he was declared the Man of the Tournament).
After he moved to the UAE, he maintained a perfect balance between his personal, professional and cricketing life. His performances got noticed by some Former international players, who strongly supported his inclusion in a World Touring Club, under which he played in countries like Australia, South Africa, England, Zimbabwe, Kenya and some parts of Europe as well. He has played with legends such as Andrew Strauss, Chris Harris, Misbah Ul Haq and Shabbir Ahmed. But the memory he cherishes most is when he got a chance to practice and play with the Little Master, Sachin Tendulkar, while practicing with Sunrisers Hyderabad and Mumbai Indians as a part a special ICC contract awarded to him.
He has been an exquisite cricketer and an equally great mentor. He is a Certified Level 2 Coach and has coached a U-19 team in the ECB National Championship. He captains United Challengers, players for Chinar Cricket Club in the UAE. He currently plays for Khankah Gladiators, , in the Kashmir Super League 2016. He is a wonderful personality and we have shared quite a few moments in the nets and the field as well. One of my favorite ones would be when he made me pad up and bat in the nets, during one of our practice sessions. I was terrible with the bat and he made every effort to help me at least play some shots. The best thing that I remember about that day is when I came out he was the first one to compliment for my efforts, and encouraged me to continue to learn the game. In spite of all his achievements he is a very humble and down to earth person, someone you would want to have by your side no matter which situation you are in.
(Article by: Mirza Taha)