The beauty of a sport like cricket is often in the unique stories it throws out into the public eye from the most inconspicuous corners and niches of the world. The story of Manzoor Dar from the valleys of Kashmir is one such story. Growing up and following cricket in India’s northernmost state was never easy, but Manzoor always found a way.
“My earliest cricket memory was when I was about 3 years old. Where I stay, they have no knowledge about the game. I used to listen to the matches on the radio and take the radio to work and listen to it there as well. We didn’t have access to televisions.”
It’s this burning passion for the game that kept young Manzoor Dar going. The desire to watch the Indian National Team perform well on the biggest stage was something that pushed him to extremes just to follow his favourite team.
“When we started getting older, we started watching matches whenever India were playing. One time, it was a World T20 final, and India were playing. I went to another village at 10:30 in the night just to watch the match, as they had electricity and we didn’t.”
From going to such tedious ends to watch a game of cricket, to terrorising oppositions with his six-hitting ability, the gentle giant from Kashmir has come a long way.
“This is the happiest I have been in my life,” he said when Kings XI Punjab secured his services for the upcoming VIVO Indian Premier League season.
Manzoor Dar surely has a unique story when it comes to his earliest cricket memory. Here’s hoping he can make some rosy memories with the Sher-e-Punjab as well in his debut IPL season.