Jammu: It was Jammu’s own ‘premier league’, where hundreds of young cricketers vied for a chance to play the game at the national and international level. And the tournament’s organiser was no sports body, but the Indian Army.
“It is a great feeling to get selected and getting recommended for training in renowned cricket academies of the country,” said Munish Dogra of the Jammu Jaanbaaz team, who was declared the man of Jammu Premier League tournament held here between Feb 10 and April 27.
“It was a sort of talent hunt and we have identified good players who will be trained to reach the national and international standards,” said a spokesperson of the army.
The tournament was part of Operation Sadbhavna (Goodwill), started 14 years ago for the socio-economic development of Jammu and Kashmir that suffered devastation due to terrorism, said the army official.
Sameer Khajuria of the winning team, Jammu Riders, who was declared man of the match, thanked the Army “for generating resources at such massive scale and bringing together the entire region for a noble cause”.
“I hope that the league fosters participation of local youth in sporting activities and will select a few youngsters for institutes like National Cricket Academy and others, who may one day play in the Indian Premier league,” said Lt. Gen. A.S. Nandal, General Officer Commanding of 16 Corps. The annual event would bring out the hidden talent of Jammu in cricket, he said.
Over the years, Operation Sadbhavna has helped build infrastructure, improve education and health, brought about socio-economic development and created programmes for women and children, said the spokesperson. “Its main aim was to win back the hearts and minds of the people of Jammu and Kashmir,” said the official.
“Women and children have been the worst sufferers of terrorist activities. So they have been the natural focus of Operation Sadbhavana for improving their lot and to ameliorate their sufferings,” said the official.