Youth of Jammu & Kashmir should actively take up sports: Dhoni

Baramulla (Kashmir): India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Sunday said that situation in Jammu & Kashmir could improve if the youth of the state actively take up sports.

"Things can improve with sports, we have already seen some improvement. Youngsters should take up sports, not only just cricket," Dhoni told reporters after visiting the Aman Setu (Peace Bridge), the last point on Line of Control in Kashmir.

Interacting with reporters here, 55 kms from Srinagar, Dhoni said the Indian Army is a highly motivated force who do not need people from outside to boost their morale.

"I hear people often talking about boosting the morale of the Army but it is the most motivated army. I am here for the last few days. I have visited the forward areas and met officers and jawans. I came to learn from them," Dhoni said.

In response to a question, he said BCCI is doing a good job in promoting cricket across the country but ultimately it is the local state associations which have to take the game to the grassroots.

"BCCI is doing a good job in promoting cricket. It provides funds to local associations which are directly involved in managing affairs of the game in their respective areas," he said.

Dhoni said the development of cricket in smaller cities was a long process which will take time but some improvement is already visible.

"We can see some new stadiums have come up (in smaller cities and town)," he said.

The dashing cricketer from Jharkhand also feels that if J&K players perform consistently at the domestic tournaments like Ranji Trophy and Duleep Trophy, there may be player who would then represent the country.

"Talent can only be proven by performing consistently," he said.

On the resumption of Indo-Pak cricket ties, the Team India captain spoke in favour of it.

"It is important to start from somewhere. If it is cricket, then so be it, because we are not ambassadors of only cricket but sports at large," he said.

Dhoni said ultimately it was cricket boards of the two countries to decide on the timing and venue for any bilateral cricketing engagements between India and Pakistan.

The cricketing ties between India and Pakistan were snapped following the 2008 terror attacks on Mumbai.


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