Kashmir’s Cricket Prodigy

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Handwara’s Sikander Haider Mir swings the ball high

A six year old from Kashmir is a cricket prodigy. Sikander Haider Mir is a young Mahi in the making – also called by many as Mahendra Singh Dhoni, India’s hugely loved cricketer. Like Mahi, Sikander is a wicket-keeper and batsman. His favourite players are Virat Kohli and KL Rahul.

Sikander is a resident of Check Nutnusa in Handwara district. He studies in Class 2 in Child Care School, Handwara. Cricket is a passion for the family. His father Umer Sarwar Mir and also his brothers and sisters – all love playing cricket. Sikander started playing the game when he was only four years old. He learnt cricket from his father, playing as many hours as possible, and also closely watching the game on YouTube. His mother Mehjabeen Ara is a government school teacher.

Sikander never misses a match in which Team India is playing. He was playing cricket in Jammu Stadium when some children made a video of his game and uploaded it on social media. The video went viral, and Sikander became the blue-eyed boy of cricket.

Sikander is Asia’s first child to be sponsored by New Balance, an international brand. The child says cricket is in his blood.

In 2018, Sikandar met Mahendra Singh Dhoni. The former Team India captain appreciated Sikandar. The child says this greatly inspired him. Sikander says he is waiting for a big opportunity to do something big for Kashmir playing cricket.

Umer Sarwar says that all parents must support their children in whatever the little ones want to achieve. “We have never forced Sikander, be it education or cricket. If a child is successful, it is a proud time for his parents. There is no happiness bigger than your child’s happiness. We must always appreciate the talent of our children.”

Umer Sarwar has admitted Sikander to a top cricket academy, and says his coaching fee for the next seven to eight years may add up to Rs 1 crore approximately. “Sikander has been sponsored by New Balance, Cosco India and Zahid Sports. He has been chosen for the BCCI Domestic Child Prodigy Award, and his name shall be in Guiness Book of World Records for being the youngest cricketer. I am highly thankful to the UT Administration of Jammu and Kashmir for their whole-hearted support for Sikander,” said Umer Sarwar.

The six-year-old is in love with the game, and says cricket is in his blood. He urges other children of Kashmir to follow their dream and pursue what their heart desires. “Achieve whatever you want to. There is no one to stop you. All you need is the will to achieve your dreams. I am good at cricket. Somebody else may be good at badminton. We all have our own talents. We must pursue what we are good at,” he says.

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