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Valley cricketer who is fitter than Kohli

Ahmed Banday eyes IPL to reach Indian national team

Post by on Friday, January 8, 2021

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Ahmed Banday eyes IPL to reach Indian national team

Srinagar, Jan08: Ahmed Omer Farooq Banday popularly known as Ahmed Banday is a Valley cricketer who is striving hard to turn the attention of selectors towards him to make it in the cricketing world. 

He thinks selection in the cash rich Indian Premier League (IPL) could act as a stepping stone for his ultimate destination of securing a berth in Indian national team.

 C’ship of YoYo test

To achieve the goal, the 25-year-old young man who comes from Nigeen area, is making the right moves by scoring more in a multi-stage fitness test, commonly known as YoYo test than the Indian national team captain Virat Kohli.

"In this test, you have to run continuously in a distance of 20 metres, starting with 8 km per hr which goes up to 22 or 23 depending upon the capability of a person. Indian team's standard is currently 17.4. That's the bar they have set and the player who crosses this mark are eligible to play for the team. I have scored 19.4 and 19.2," said Banday with a wicked smile on his face.

The aggressive batsman who dreams of making his mark in the cricketing world, backs his chances by having medium pace bowling also in his armoury and this all round game of his has helped him to earn his place in Jammu and Kashmir cricket team.


Early life

Banday was born in March 1995 in a cricket loving family where his father and his uncle both were ardently following the game. 

“During my childhood, I used to see my father and my uncle playing and talking a lot about cricket. If I say, cricket runs in my genes, it wouldn’t be an exaggeration,” says Banday.

Banday started playing the game from a tender age of six, and since then he has not looked back.


U-16-19 tourney

He represented J&K for the first time in the under-16 tournament in 2008, but his big break came in the inter-school tournament when he was playing U-19 where he scored an unbeaten 206 runs.

“This was the match which got me recognized. People started noticing me. I also felt after the game there was some kind of improvement in my overall game also.”


List A debut

After performing well in junior level cricket for some years, he got a call to play in the prestigious Vijay Hazare Trophy in 2013.

“I know that I have to perform well continuously to make it for the senior team. Eventually, my hard work paid off, and I got a call to play for the senior team,” recalls Banday. 

He made his List A debut for J&K in the Vijay Hazare Trophy against Delhi. Coming as opener, he scored a brilliant half century off just 53 balls. It included three 6s and four 4s. Although Banday's team lost the game, his performance was lauded by cricketing pundits.  

He repeated the performance in the next match against the Haryana side by scoring another half century and now everyone in the tournament was talking about him.

“Scoring back to back 50s at senior level gave me the confidence that I could make it big and maybe even play for a national team” says Banday.  

Soon people started calling Banday as Virender Sehwag of Kashmir and he lived upto his name.


Creates history

In 2016, Banday was the part of J&K senior team which participated in CK Nayudu trophy. The trailblazing batsman Banday went on to write the history of his own when he scored 214 runs against Himachal Pradesh at Amtar in one innings. 

With this innings, he became the first Kashmiri player to have ever hit a double ton in a national tournament. 

Banday ended the tournament on a high with 435 runs in 7 innings at an average of 62.14 which included a double ton and two fifties and was the leading run scorer for J&K.


Ranji Trophy

The hard-hitting batsman made his First-class cricket and Ranji Trophy debut on 29 December 2016. Although, his first match against Hyderabad did not go as per the plan. He could not cross the single digit mark. But then he pulled himself together and went on to score a total of 414 runs in the season with one century and two fifties. He was the highest run scorer for J&K.


English call

While the lady luck was smiling at Banday, in 2018 he got a call from England to play for a club there.

"My team manager received the call where “Bury Cricket Club Lancashire England” in Greater Manchester Cricket League (GMCL) 2018 offered me a four month contract to play for them that season,” recalls Banday.

Banday has been playing as a professional cricketer for the last 10 years and playing cricket has now become a full time career for him. 

Banday is in Bangalore right now for T-20 matches which are starting from 10th January. 


Eye for IPL

He said if performance remains good in these matches there are chances that he would get selected for IPL. 

"Selection in IPL or team India depends upon my performance in these matches. If all goes well I would like to be a part of IPL very soon."

Banday maintains a very strict routine to remain fit which includes a strict diet. 

"I maintain my diet during off season as well and probably that is the reason behind me being at the number one spot."


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