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Whole of Kulgam district in Kashmir rejoiced Rasikh Dar earning an IPL contract with MI

He was bought by the Mumbai Indians for his base price of 20 lakhs.

Rasikh Dar
Rasikh Dar. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019 auction brought a lot of cricketers to prominence. There were the likes of Varun Chakravarthy, Prabhsimran Singh and Shivam Dube who got the big bucks but it was a youngster from Kashmir whose selection brought greater joy. Rasikh Dar, from the Kulgam district of Jammu and Kashmir at just 17 years has an IPL contract with the Mumbai Indians.

He became the third player from J&K after the state team captain Parvez Rasool and Mansoor Dar to be picked in the auction. Rasikh’s selection by the Mumbai Indians was great news for not just him and his family but the entire cricketing fraternity in the valley. It is not every day that talent from this part of the country is recognized at this level.

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“We are extremely happy. It is all of Kashmir’s happiness. His friends, relatives, aunts, uncles, sisters brothers, everyone is very happy. It really is everyone’s happiness. We are so happy that he has reached so far,” Saleem Dar, Rasikh’s Mother was quoted as saying on The Quint.

Irfan Pathan spotted his talent

He loved the sport from a very young age and always preferred picking up the bat or ball over books. Just this year the Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association (JKCA) brought Irfan Pathan into the setup as player cum mentor. They conducted a trial in all the districts and at the Kulgam trial, Rasikh impressed the senior pro.

“Rasikh was very fond of cricket from an early age. As a child, he used to ask for a bat and ball. Never asked for books and other things. When he was eight, he played his first cricket match in Budgam. He bowled really well in that match. He picked up two wickets and bowled with good pace,” said his brother Irfan Salam Dar.

“This year at the trials when Irfan Pathan saw Rasikh he asked where he was from. When Rasikh said he’s from Kulgam, Irfan Pathan was really happy. And when he saw Rasikh bowl, he was very happy and said that his talent would take him far,” he added.

For an aspiring cricketer, it is a dream to share the space with someone who has represented the country and Rasikh feels lucky to have someone of Irfan’s stature to guide him. He said that Pathan has treated him like a younger brother and guided him all the way.

“It is a dream to sit with a cricketer like Irfan Pathan, take a selfie with him, or get his autograph. I’ve shared a dressing room with him, played with him, and spoken to him. He has treated me like his younger brother,” Rasikh was quoted in the same report as saying.

He is hopeful that more talent from the region will now rise through the ranks and earn higher prominence.

“Inshallah it has been improving, and it will keep improving. The hope is that the cricketers who come after me play well and the ones that are with me also play well. The boys are playing everyday, and god-willing, will improve too,” he said.

Here is Rasikh’s message for the MI fans:

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