Legends League cricket: International stars draw fans from across the region to Jammu stadium
Effervescent fans, not only from Jammu, but also parts of Kashmir descended at the stadium to get tickets and watch their favourite international cricket stars of yester-years in action
The Legends League cricket game at the Maulana Azad Stadium in Jammu on Monday got off to a euphoric start under floodlights, with huge lines of fans from various parts of Jammu and Kashmir seen lined up at the ticket counters.
Effervescent fans, not only from Jammu, but also parts of Kashmir descended at the stadium to get tickets and watch their favourite international cricket stars of yester-years in action.
Amid tight security arrangements, game between Manipal Tigers and Southern Superstars started at 7pm.
Abdul Rashid, a die-hard fan of left arm seamer Irfan Pathan, said, “We have come all the way from Kupwara. We visited the ticket counter thrice today and there was heavy rush. We would not miss the opportunity to see our stars in action.”
Rashid’s friend Altaf said that he was fan of Harbhajan Singh and had come to see the “turbanator” in action.
“We couldn’t wait to watch them in action,” he said. Pulwama’s Aftab Ahmed said he had to wait his turn to get a ticket. He had come with four of his friends, all ardent fans of the game.
Mohammad Rafiq of Baramulla’s Uri, an area on the Line of Control (LoC), said, “Many friends have come along to witness the match. Legends’ league is an extravaganza for cricket loves like us.”
Rafiq attributed the hosting of such an international event to the revocation of Article 370, which, according to him, has opened the floodgates of international events. “Had the organisers kept one or two matches in Srinagar, it would have been a tremendous opportunity for the youngsters to watch their stars in action,” he added.
Ramban’s Naresh Kumar said, “I was enthusiastic ever since legends league cricket tournament was announced. I am huge fan of Chris Gayle and I have only seen him smashing bowlers on TV screen till now.”
International stars, such as Chris Gayle, Hashim Amla, Aaron Finch, Kevin Pieterson, Harbhajan Singh, Irfan and Yousuf Pathan, Munnaf Patel, Suresh Raina, Gautam Gambhir, Parthiv Patel, Jacques Kallis, Mohammad Kaif, Robin Uthappa and many others from England, West Indies, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Zimbabwe, New Zealand, Ireland and Scotland will be seen in action over the matches schedule at the stadium.
In 1988, the first-ever and last one-day international between India and New-Zealand was washed out due to rains without a single bowl being bowled. Around 120 cricketers would be playing four matches in Jammu’s renovated MA Stadium.