Srinagar, March 28: Two physically challenged cricketers from Jammu and Kashmir, Syed Shah Aziz and Aqib Nisar Malik are to represent India in four nation divyang T20 cricket series played at Sheikh Kamal International Cricket Stadium Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh from March 27 to March 31, 2022.
Four Divyang (physically challenged) international cricket teams including India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal will lock horns in this tournament for lifting the trophy in which each team shall play at least three league matches.
The tournament is being organized in memory of the father of the nation of Bangladesh Sheikh Mujibur Rahman whereas the Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina is contributing to the organization of this tournament.
Earlier on, December 2021 the duo Shah Aziz and Aqib Malik played a national Divyang cricket tournament held at Satna, M.P while representing J&K where both these cricketers impressed selectors with their performance and got selected in the India team where team J&K remained runners up.
32-year-old Shah Aziz with the left hand and foot disability hails from Janyar area in district Poonch Jammu while a 23-year-old with right leg disability Aqib Nisar Malik hails from south Kashmir’s Badriwan area in district Pulwama.
Talking to Rising Kashmir Shah Aziz said that he started playing cricket at an early age with normal cricketers as he was not aware of Divyang cricket.
“But after knowing about divyang cricket I started playing it professionally in 2016. And I am also the current captain of the J&K Divyang cricket team,” he said.
He has played two national and one International tournament in two-nation series (Nepal vs India) ‘Tapan trophy’ played at Agra, India.
“I am excited to be part of the Indian team and will work hard to bring laurels for the country and for J&K,” he said, adding that he cannot forget when he was criticized for being disabled who was playing with normal cricketers.
“Now those who had criticized me are respecting me,” he said.
He added that earlier his parents would not allow him to play cricket fearing that he may damage another leg but after realizing his passion for the game they eventually started supporting him.
“At one stage I thought of quitting the game but seeing a person without both legs who was trying to walk with the help of crutches motivated me again to continue my passion for cricket,” he said.
Aziz was also part of the Rajasthan Rajwada team in the Divyang premier league (DPL) played in Sharjah cricket stadium Dubai in which a total of six teams participated.
B.A. graduate from Government Degree College Pulwama Aqib Malik is a right-handed bowler and batter.
He has played three matches in the national tournament played at Satna M.P. where he was awarded man of the series and best batsman for scoring 106 runs and picking up six wickets for team J&K.
Malik said that he started playing cricket in 6th standard as he used to watch his father playing cricket.
“I would play with normal boys but used to face difficulty in running, while in the toilet have experienced a lot of pain in the hip joint owing to shortening of leg responsible for my disability,” he said, adding though for that he underwent through surgery but to no avail as the disability still remained there.
“I am very happy to represent the country on such a big platform,” he said.
He added that his family was always supportive of him and his father is his inspiration.
“I will be playing DPL which is to be played in Dubai starting from April 2022,” he informed.