In what seems like another act of defiance, a group of amateur cricketers are seen in a video donning the Pakistan cricket jersey as they played a local match in the Wayil playfield in central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district. However, looking at the clothing, it seems that the video was shot last summer. The players also chose to start the match with the Pakistan national anthem.
Members of the Baba Darya Ud Din team, named after the popular saint whose shrine is situated in Ganderbal, wore Pakistan’s traditional green colours while the opposition wore white. There was an announcement on the public address system that the Pakistan national anthem was going to be played as a “mark of respect”. A member of the team, choosing to remain anonymous, told InUth.com: “We wanted our team to look different and also wanted to show fellow Kashmiris that we haven’t forgotten Kashmir issue, so we found this particular theme as most appropriate and catchy.”
There were some members in the team who were apprehensive with what would be a clear act of defiance, but soon came around. One of them was quoted as saying that they joined after noticing that the others had no apprehensions. “Why should we be scared when Kashmir is a disputed territory and Allah is with us?” another cricketer was quoted as saying.
This is not a new event in the valley which has seen violence since the early 1990s. For instance, three local cricket clubs — Burhan Lions, Aabid Khan Qalandars and Khalid Aryans — are named after Kashmiri militants. The teams participated in a two-month long tournament in Tral in April last year as reported by The Indian Express.