‘Where talent meets opportunity’ has been the tagline of the Indian Premier League since it’s inception. The T20 league has been a platform for uncapped cricketers – who may or may not be known in the domestic circuit – to display their talent to the world. Lots of young players have been successful in making an entry into the National team after performing in the IPL.
But getting an entry in the IPL isn’t easy at all. Talent is required for sure, but dedication and hard work is a must. Those who really want something in their life will try and throw everything at their disposal to achieve it.
Such inspiring is the story of Jammu and Kashmir batsman Manzoor Dar, also known as Pandav, who bagged his maiden IPL deal of Rs 20 lakh from Kings XI Punjab. Known for his power hitting, Dar became the second player from Kashmir to become a part of cash-rich IPL after Parvez Rasool, who failed to attract a single bid during the auction.
He says- “At one point, we couldn’t afford pen for my sisters. Shukur khuda ka! Meri behne abhi bhi pad rahi hai (Thanks to the Almighty, my sisters are still studying).”
Born to a laborer, the 24-year-old cricketer who comes from Sonawari area of Bandipore district, worked as a security guard at night while playing cricket in the day.
Dar made his J&K debut last year, in the North Zone Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy T20 tournament, and hasn’t looked back. He has played nine T20s with a strike rate of 145 plus. Besides representing Jammu and Kashmir in the Ranji Trophy, he recently helped his team win a couple of matches in the recent Mushtaq Ali T20 north zone.
His persistence has brought him here, and this will serve as an inspiration to many such aspiring cricketers particularly from that region.