Former all-rounder Irfan Pathan and support staff requested to leave Jammu and Kashmir

Given the prevalent unrest and government of India’s security advisory, it’s not only tourists and pilgrims, who are leaving Jammu and Kashmir. Former India cricketer Irfan Pathan along with Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association (JKCA) support staff have also been asked to leave the place immediately. JKCA mentor Pathan, coach Milap Mewada and trainer Sudarshan VP along with selectors, who are not from the Valley, are expected to leave J&K on Sunday.

The JKCA has sent Jammu cricketers from all age groups, who were training at the Sher-i-Kashmir stadium in Srinagar, back to their respective places. Sudarshan is a former India fitness trainer while Mewada is a former Baroda player. “Yes, the JKCA has advised Pathan and other support staff to leave J&K. They will fly out of the Valley on Sunday. Selectors, who are not from the region, have also been asked to leave for their respective places,” JKCA chief executive officer (CEO) Syed Ashiq Hussain Bukhari confirmed to this newspaper.

“We’ve already sent 101-102 Jammu players, who were camping at Sher-i-Kashmir stadium, back. The situation is tense and even we are not sure what’s going to happen, so we postponed cricketing activities and decided to wait for the right time to restart it,” added the former cop.

With domestic season starting this month, the JKCA was organising selection matches and training camps for the state cricketers in Srinagar. Eight teams were formed out of shortlisted players from under-23 and senior categories. Three teams were from Jammu, as many were from Kashmir and two were formed comprising probables from the senior team.

“We played a selection match on Tuesday. The juniors including U-19 and U-16 cricketers were undergoing training camp at the stadium. Apart from this, matches were going on at district headquarters. Selectors were visiting these places for talent scouting. But all these activities have now come to a sudden halt due,” said India and J&K cricketer Parvez Rasool.

The BCCI’s domestic season starts with Duleep Trophy on August 17 followed by Vijay Hazare Trophy, Prof. Deodhar Trophy and Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy in senior men’s category. League round of Ranji Trophy is scheduled to begin on December 9. A total of 2036 matches are scheduled to be played in all categories across formats during the 2019-20 domestic season. J&K was also supposed to host a few matches but the chaos has cast a doubt on any sporting activities in the region at least for now.

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