As the chatter of Kashmir has started to fade off from tv broadcasts to common conversations throughout the international as well as national arenas, the name of “Kashmir” has again started to catch attention especially in Middle East corridors, though this time for very different reasons. Kashmir Super League (KSL) is a cricket tournament organised and played by Kashmiris living in Dubai and other middle east parts. KSL is starting its 2nd season in January and is already creating abuzz all around Dubai. The enthusiasm bouts largely from the success of its first season, which took place last year. The tournament is played between 12 teams each named on different localities of Kashmir and engaging NRKs from all around the valley. While life in places like Dubai can be very demanding, the players ensure that they take part in every manner in the tournament. Warm up matches have already started and huge participation and zeal can be seen in players, spectators and organizers. This large spread and almost insane enthusiasm has largely been a product of the fact that KSL besides being a cricket tournament is playing a role of a platform for bringing NRKs together and enabling them to stand as a community in itself. Warm up matches have already enabled progress in this direction and it wont be a exaggeration to say that a stronger bond between the contenders is turning up already. “Being a Kashmiri is a hard thing, in first place “says Imad-ur-Rehman, who plays for Dachigam Hanguls, “but it becomes much more difficult when you land up in an entirely different land with a entirely different language. You feel lost. I felt lost. But after KSL I have been able to re ascertain my identity as a Kashmiri”. KSL has also provided opportunities to NRKs to find and meet more NRKs. And it has been not a rarity, that these connections go outside the playground. A spectator on one of the recent warm up matches commented:” One can’t wonder enough how wrong George Orwell was when he said “It (Sport)is bound up with hatred, jealousy, boastfulness, disregard of all rules and sadistic pleasure in witnessing violence: in other words, it is war minus the shooting.” He then paused and said with a deep sigh.” Back home(Kashmir), there is war as well as shooting”
The aura around KSL is already dynamic beyond expectations of the organizers and players. How far shall this go, we will have to wait and watch.
Article by Sheikh waseem