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Meet Kashmir's One- Arm cricketer, A source of inspiration

Meet Kashmir's One- Arm cricketer, A source of inspiration

by M Omar 

Yaqoob Nath, 37, a specially-abled cricket player from Srinagar, has defied all the hurdles and hardships to pursue his passion for cricket. At the age of nine, Yaqoob lost his left arm in a tragic accident at his family's band sawmill. However, this did not stop him from playing cricket.

Yaqoob continues to play cricket with just one arm, leaving cricket lovers spell bound with his skills.

He is an inspiration for many who admire his passion for the sport and his determination to overcome his disability.

Yaqoob's passion and hard work have earned him numerous accolades, including man of the match and man of the series awards in different local tournaments. His cupboard at home is decorated with mementos and medals, which he proudly points out as a testament to his dedication to the sport.
Recalling the fateful day in 1991, Yaqoob said that he was just nine years old when his left hand got caught in the wheel of a sawmill while he was playing. Despite the people around trying to pull him out,Yaqoob had already lost half of his arm . 
Though he was immediately rushed to hospital, three half of his arm had to be amputated, causing immense heartbreak for Yaqoob and his family. 

"When I woke up from the surgery, I was devastated to see that I had lost my arm," Yaqoob recalls. "I cried for the whole day." 

He spent two months recovering in the hospital, and as a cricket lover, he was worried about how he would be able to play the game he loved.

The incident left a deep scar in his life, but Yaqoob refused to let it hold him back. He dropped out of school but couldn't keep off the game of cricket, a sport he had always loved.
Despite the physical and emotional trauma he faced, Yaqoob remained determined. He taught himself to play cricket with one hand. Yaqoob's resilience and positivity have been an inspiration to many, and he continues to inspire others with his story of overcoming adversity.
An erstwhile active player on the pitch, the accident reduced Yaqoob to a mere spectator. 
“I used to go along with our local team and was shouting for their good performances,” remembers Yaqoob. But Yaqoob had a desire to don the cricket jersey again, play in the field; it was making him suffer silently in isolation.

Despite his disability, Yaqoob continued to practice and play cricket with his friends. He honed his skills by bowling against a cemented wall and soon returned to playing amateur cricket. His confidence grew, and he eventually earned a place as a regular spin bowler on his local team.

What basically gave Yaqoob a moral booster was a match in played in May 2018, the final match of the Aga Syed Roohullah cricket tournament in Budgam. Yaqoob-11 and another local team, who made it to the finals, were all set to face each other. 

The crowd of around 2000 people had come to watch the game. The coin was tossed and Yaqoob-11 got the turn to field. After bowling some overs, when Mohammad Yaqoob Nath, 33, started bowling, the crowd broke into unstoppable excitement. Reason: Yaqoob is a specially-abled player.
This helped Yaqoob to overcome the fear that disability has instilled deep inside him

Yaqoob is now a regular member of a team participating in the Boom Boom Synergy Chanderhama Tournament, where he receives support from his teammates.

He is a true inspiration to all those who face adversity in pursuing their dreams.
Today, Yaqoob is a para-cricketer and plays for a local team in various tournaments. He recently received a call from a para cricket team in Rajouri to join them for a tournament in the Pirpanchal belt. Though he couldn't join them due to some unavoidable engagements, he remains dedicated to the sport and continues to work hard to improve his game.
Yaqoob's story is an inspiration to many in Kashmir and beyond, showing that with determination and hard work, anything is possible. Despite the odds stacked against him, he has deified them and is now a role model for others who may face similar challenges.

Yaqoob aspires to play for the JK Para Cricket Team. He wants to play in the team to represent Jammu and Kashmir. “This is my dream to play in the JK Para Team. I wanted them to consider me, I had approached them some time ago but couldn’t get a satisfactory response as of now.” Yaqoob said.
Courtesy: Rising Kashmir

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