Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) mentor, Virender Sehwag has showered heaps of praise for the only Jammu & Kashmir cricketer to play in this edition of Indian Premier League (IPL), Manzoor Dar.
Meanwhile, the Kings bought the batting all-rounder at his base price of Rs 20 lakh at this year’s mega-auction.
Dar made his J&K debut last year, in the North Zone Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy T20 tournament, and hasn’t looked back. He has played nine T20s with a strike rate of 145 plus.
Previously, he mentioned he started playing cricket when he got a chance to play for a local team and ended up scoring a century studded with eight sixes.
The 24-year old has seen a lot of difficulties throughout his life due to the turmoil in Kashmir. He was the eldest of the eight siblings and often had to sleep without any food.
However, Dar continued his practice during the day and worked as a security guard at night. He feels this was a life-changing decision, as he took care of his family and gave him time to pursue his passion by playing for local clubs that would also pay him occasionally.
Dar is currently with the Punjab squad, who has started the tournament on a real high. They defeated Delhi Daredevils by six wickets, as KL Rahul struck a 14-ball 50.
However, he is waiting for his opportunity and is confident to make a mark immediately.
Meanwhile, Sehwag took to Instagram to laud the all-rounder, who he calls ‘Batting Baahubali’. He posted one of the videos from the practice session of KXIP and termed him as a true inspiration.
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The hero from Kashmir, Manzoor Dar urf The batting Baahubali .This is during one of our Kings 11 practice matches. Rarely does one have such a following even before playing. He is a true inspiration and this experience will be wonderful for him and inspire a lot of people from #kashmir to take up #cricket
“The hero from Kashmir, Manzoor Dar urf The batting Baahubali .This is during one of our Kings 11 practice matches. Rarely does one have such a following even before playing. He is a true inspiration, and this experience will be wonderful for him and inspire a lot of people from #kashmir to take up #cricket,” Sehwag wrote.
Meanwhile, Punjab has built a strong squad this season and will be hoping for their debut trophy. They will play their second game against Royal Challengers Bangalore tomorrow at Chinnaswamy.