Bijbehara: A 24-year-old differently abled cricketer, Ayaz Ahmad Ganaie, from Bijbehara of Anantnag district is set to become the third from the area to represent India at the international level.
Earlier, Parvez Rasool from Bijbehara town became the first to play for the national cricket team and was followed by Amir Hussain Lone of Waghama village of Bijbehara who represented India in a para-cricket tournament at the international level.
Ayaz, son of government employee Nazir Ahmad, is a resident of Khoshroi Kalan village. He will represent India in the Disabled Cricket World Cup to be held in the country from February 15.
“I was born disabled. My left leg is shorter by some inches than the right leg,” Ayaz told The Tribune.
He said he had been passionate about cricket since his childhood and had been playing since Class VI. A batsman wicket-keeper, Ayaz feels he has made his family and Kashmir proud.
“Disability should not hinder us from pursuing our dreams. I’m glad I proved it,” he said. He was among a 1,000 other disabled cricketers selected from across the country around three years ago. His name finally featured in the 100 chosen ones, out of which he made it to the 16-member squad for the World Cup.
“I dropped out of school in Class X and started working at cricket bat manufacturing units in the Sangam area. This has kept me close to my dream of becoming a player, while I earned a livelihood,” Ayaz said.
As festivity has filled Ayaz’s home and people are making a beeline to congratulate him, his is focused and is looking forward to his training in Puducherry later this month. “I want to perform well and make everyone proud,” he said.