J&K to host its maiden 59th Annual Cricket

Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir will host the 59th Annual Cricket National School Games in the under-14 (boys) category here from Tuesday.

The six-day event will be inaugurated by Chief Minister Omar Abdullah at Bakshi Stadium, said Minister for Youth Services and Sports, Taj Mohi-ud-Din.

Taj said the games are part of a series of events to get Kashmir back on the sporting map of the country with the improvement in the security situation.

"Kashmir had this stigma attached to it that it was a terror-prone area. Parents dreaded sending their children here to participate in any event. But now the situation has improved and we have started a chain of events to get Kashmir back on the sporting map," the minister said.

He said the "big event" will see teams from 21 states of the country participating in 41 matches.

"There will be 27 league and 12 knock-out matches, which will be played at different grounds across the valley," he said.

The department of Youth Services and Sports has included the game as part of the curriculum seeing the desire of youngsters for cricket, the minister said.

"We had left cricket for JKCA (Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association), but now we have included it in our curriculum as there is a great desire for the game among the youngsters," he said.

He announced that every district in the state will have a sports academy and every Panchayat will get a sports ground, to provide ample opportunities to the sports lovers.

"The government is doing its best to improve sports facilities in the state," Taj said.


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