JKCA forced to advertise on TV to reach out to players

Owing to a communication clampdown in the State, the association has has been compelled to put out advertisements on local television channels to reach out to players from Srinagar and other districts.

A Kashmiri policeman guards outside a closed shop in Srinagar.   -  AP

Faced with a communication clampdown in the State, the Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association (JKCA) has now put out an advertisement on local television channels, to reach out to the players from Srinagar and the other districts.

In the advertisement — which went on air from Tuesday — the association has asked the players to gather in Jammu on August 31 for a preparatory camp ahead of the domestic season, which gets underway from September 24.

Ever since the Indian government decided to abrogate Article 370, which granted special status to the State of Jammu and Kashmir, there has been a curfew in most parts of the Valley. Consequentially, the JKCA has been unable to contact any of its players, which forced it to pull out of the Vizzy Trophy last week.

“Even though the mobile networks are unavailable, some of the television channels are operational. So, we thought this was the best way to communicate to the players,” JKCA CEO Ashiq Ali Bukhari told Sportstar.

No other option

The decision was taken a couple of days ago when the JKCA administrator Justice (retired) C. K. Prasad met with Bukhari and Irfan Pathan, the team’s mentor in New Delhi. “With the domestic season approaching, there was nothing else we could have done to reach out to the players. At least, if we put out advertisements on television, they will be aware of a camp,” Bukhari said.

As of now, a total of 20 players have been asked to attend the camp, according to Bukhari.

Irfan Pathan, the team's mentor, revealed the practice venue will be decided once the players assembled in Jammu. File Photo: V. V. Subrahmanyam

 

While the association has been able to connect with the players from Jammu, top players like Parvez Rasool, who live in Srinagar, have been incommunicado for more than two weeks now. Rasool is the team captain and has played international cricket for India.

“Now that the advertisements are being aired on television, we hope to get a positive response,” Pathan, who has been the mentor of the team for two seasons now, said.

Pathan also revealed that once the players assembled in Jammu, they would assess the situation and take a call on a practice venue. “In Jammu, the grounds are usually ready by November, so for now, we will have to look for a different option. We will also speak to BCCI on the matter,” Pathan said.