17-year-old opener Qamran Iqbal became the third cricketer from Jammu and Kashmir to play for the Indian U-19 team and that has once again brought tides of joy and jubilation to Kashmir and the state's hopes of another player representing India at the highest level.
Hailing from Safaqadal area of Srinagar, Qamran made a mark in the very first match by bagging man-of-the-match award against Nepal U-19's followed by another match-winning knock with Afghanistan U-19's in the Quadrangular U-19 One-day series.
The right-handed batsman who occasionally bowls spin, scored 56 for his team India 'B' in the low scoring encounter against Nepal, making sure he led his team to 40-run victory. He continued his run in the second match by smashing 89 runs which included 10 fours and 2 sixes. His innings again ensured India 'B' got the better of Afghanistan U-19. He, however, was rested for the third match so as to keep him fresh for the final.
Qamran's heroics have increased the hope of J&K cricket fans as they now see him as the next big thing to emerge from there after the lone international cricketer from the state- Parvez Rasool.
Parvez heaped praise on Qamran for his brilliance and hopes that the youngster can continue to do more.
"It's always a joyful feeling to see a youngster from your place doing well at the National level. He has played really well and deserves all the praise. I wish he continues to play such knocks and bring more laurels to the state," Parvez Rasool told Sportskeeda.
Not only in Kashmir, Qamran received a lot of appreciation and support from other corners s well.
"What can be more delightful for us than seeing our own boy doing wonders for India. I would like to congratulate not only Qamran but the whole state as the young boy has made us proud. I'm hopeful to see him not only playing for the country but doing well at the highest level as well," Ranjeet Kalra, former cricketer, and Sports Adviser to Lakshadweep govt said.
Qamran, a tall, lanky batsman made it to India 'B' team on the back of some strong performances in 2017-18 Under-19 domestic season. His efforts were recognised immediately as he was picked for the NCA camp where the top 30 cricketers from across the country train.
J&K's former cricketer and coach, Abdul Qayoom Bagaw also lauded the youngster for his performances in the current tourney.
"Qamran though has a seam bowler's physique but is as dangerous with the bat. I have seen him playing and the best thing about him is that he bats with the flow. His performances proved that he can excel at the highest level. We hope he does so." he said.
Who knows, if Qamran continued to perform this way, we may soon see him playing for India.