Budgam, Apr 02: Nayeem Ahmad Malla, 25, and Farooz Ahmad Ganie, 30, are two special-abled cricketers who represented Jammu and Kashmir at international and national levels of cricket.
In 2021, they played international cricket against Bangladesh. Nayeem Ahmad Malla, a resident of Aarath village in Budgam district, and Farooz Ahmad, a resident of Check Punchero village in Bijbehara area, Anantang district, are the first two special-abled cricketers from the Kashmiri community.
Nayeem Ahmad Mallawhile talking to Rising Kashmir recounted how he became physically disabled after two accidents during his childhood.
“The first accident occurred when I was in the 4th standard while helping the family cut down trees, causing serious injury to my back. The second accident occurred three years later when I got trapped between a tractor and a walnut tree,” Malla said.
While studying in the 7th standard, he injured his hand helping a man whose vehicle was stuck in mud, which resulted in the loss of one finger on his right hand. He received a disability certificate from the government of Jammu and Kashmir based on his injuries.
After losing a finger, Malla lost interest in studying as he was unable to write with his hand. He participated in local cricket matches, where he did bat and bowling, and won various cups in the different matches he played.
His performance in national-level matches led to his selection for an international series against Bangladesh in 2021.
Farooz Ahmad lost his father in March 2014, and a flood damaged his house a few months later. In October 2014, he suffered a serious leg injury after a vehicle hit his bicycle. He was not able to walk properly for two years, and eventually became permanently disabled. He applied for and received a disability certificate from the Jammu and Kashmir government, and started playing cricket with local teams in his village.
He played local cricket tournaments in his district and later played in three national cricket championships and one international cricket series against Bangladesh.
Farooz Ahmad explained that losing his father, house, and becoming disabled was a traumatic experience that destroyed his career. However, he learned many life lessons after facing many difficulties and challenges.
He further explained that parents are the two pillars of life, and whenever one pillar gets broken, life becomes full of challenges.