Politics, sports should be kept separate: Omar

Jammu: Politics and sports should be kept separate as it is the sportspersons who suffer when the two come together, said former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah whose father and NC patron Farooq Abdullah has been a long-time cricket administrator.

“Politics and sports should be kept separate as it the sportsperson who suffer at the end when both are combined,” Omar said.

Farooq, who has headed the state’s cricket association for several years, had earlier spoken in favour of presence of politicians in sports administration.

Omar, who made the remarks at the opening of a cricket tournament at Bajalta in Jammu, also tried his hands at the game as he picked up the bat and faced a few balls.

The maiden Nagrota Premier League cricket tournament, organised by National Conference Provincial President and MLA Devender Singh Rana, will see 65 teams from various panchayats of Nagrota assembly constituency take the field. The tournament final will be held on March 25.

Praising Rana for organising the tournament, Omar said he would ensure that similar events are held in other assembly constituencies being represented by his partymen.

“Now the youth of Beerwah will ask me where is Beerwah Premier League, so we will make sure that similar tournaments are organised in other constituencies as well,” Omar said.

He said the youth of Jammu and Kashmir were more inclined towards cricket but they never got proper exposure so as to equip them to play in national and international events.

Due to lack of proper exposure, very few from Jammu and Kashmir were able to represent the state and the country in national and international events.

“…(In) the IPL auction where players from across the globe participated, while some were sold in lakhs and some in crore, there was no representation from our state,” Omar said.

He said he was hopeful that through such tournaments players from Jammu and Kashmir would get noticed. “A day will come when players from our state would wear the national jersey and represent the country and make us feel proud,” he said.