Manzoor Pandav talks to Kashmir News Trust about his life and other experiences
Kashmiri Cricketer Manzoor Dar alias Manzoor Pandav is in headlines for his selection in cash rich Indian Premier League. It was Kings X1 Punjab that he is going to represent in the coming IPL tournament starting from April 4 this year. But the most celebrating moment for the Pandav which he wants to cherish throughout his life was his selection for the Syed Mushtaq Ali Tournament last year.
Manzoor Pandav, a resident of Shiganpora Nowgam Sonawari area of South Kashmir’s Bandipora district talked to Kashmir News Trust Reporter Neyaz Elahi about his life, cricket, friends and other experiences at Jammu where he is currently on trials for Vijay Hazaria Cricket Tournament….Here are the excerpts:
Cricket: I was fond of cricket right from my childhood. I still remember when I was in class 7th, I used to play cricket whole day and with the passage of time, I was greatly attracted towards this sport. Though I was financially very week, yet I spared time for cricket. It was really wonderful to see, my friends appreciating my talent and hailing my efforts for the team. There was a time, when different local teams selected me for the batting only. I used to bat for different teams on a single day in a cricket ground where different local teams take on each other especially on Friday’s and Sundays.
Performance: I like hard hitting. I can’t play defensive as it is in my blood to send cricket balls over boundary line.
I scored double century (211) at local Narbal Cricket Ground for my local team. I managed to hit 19 sixes in that match.
At Leh, I hit 23 sixes and scored 240 runs in just 59 deliveries. My performance was highly appreciated and I became an instant hit as social media networking sites gave too much hype to my inning. Like people of Kashmir, people of Leh are very nice and humble. I played a lot of cricket at Leh. But I am really thankful to people of Kashmir for supporting me. My friends informed me that every Kashmiri is wishing me good luck and I am really thankful to the people of Kashmir.
Cheerful Moment: IPL selection will help me financially but the cheerful moment for me was when I was selected for Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. It was a dream come true. The moment I got selected, I decided not to look back and rest is history.
Name: My actual name is Manzoor Ahmed Dar. I am from Shiganpora Sonawari. People call me Manzoor Pandav because of my healthy stature. I am 24. I played a lot of Kabaddi tournaments. In one of the Kabaddi matches, I outsmarted five opponent players in a single attempt and from that day, my friends started calling my Pandav. (In Hindu mythology, Pandavas were five robust and healthy brothers who built mighty temples).
Friends: I played for Kashmir Knights Cricket Club at Suzeith Narbal. It is not a club but a family. I am really thankful to my lifelong friends including Showkat Ahmed, Bashir Ahmed and Latif Ahmed. My family background is very poor. These friends helped me financially from time to time and sometimes they even arranged bus fare for me.
I am very thankful to Syed Bilal Ahmed from Dub Ganderbal for his great support and encouragement. I am also thankful to Molvi Sahab (Imran Raza Ansari) and Arshid Shawl.
Struggle: I have studied up to Class 12th. Due to financial crunch, I could not continue the studies. I worked as a labourer and till date, I am engaged in furniture work. To meet my both ends meet, I worked as security guard for Tata Motors Pvt Ltd for Rs 2500/- per month.
I am a down to earth person who loves to interact with anyone. I never ignore anyone. After my selection at IPL, I got so many calls from Kashmir, I wholeheartedly talked to them and thanked them.