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Review: J&K’s poor show in Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy axe falls on Abdul Samad

CricketReview: J&K’s poor show in Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy axe falls on Abdul Samad

Srinagar: Punjab have just been crowned as Champions of Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy T20 Tournament 2023 while as our own J&K cricket team finished 6th in the group of 8 teams , not even making it to second round. The first campaign of the season, the first major event of the season and J&K Senior Men’s Cricket Team failed completely to leave any mark. Now the axe of J&K dismal performance has now fallen on star player Abdul Samad has been sent to join Under-23 team to regain his form or as a punishment. In his first match for Under-23 side, Abdul Samad scored 19 ball fifty.

Sending a star player like Samad who has already played more than 50 doemstic matches for senior side is disgrace and a decsion that is devoid of any sense and reasoning. Samad who looked out of touch in Syef Musbtaq Ali T20 Trophy needs support at this time and not demotion or punishment. Also by sending Samad like player for Under-23 tournament , JKCA has also robbed deserving youngsters of their chance whom Samad will replaced or replaced. There is no acountability and reasoning in JKCA and this decision just proved that.

Meanwhile the campaign that just ended was one of the worst performances in the recent years from the star studded J&K Cricket team who boost some high profile of Indian cricket at the moment. Gone are the days when J&K Cricket Team where without high profile star names and comprised mostly of unknown names who were out to prove themselves and make name for themselves. 

The current J&K Cricket team comprise of International cricketer, IPL stars and players who have been playing top level domestic cricket from years now. The team is full of stars, talent and potential and yet they give out miserable performances for J&K when it matter. 

Despite possessing star players in its squad, J&K Cricket is on decline from last couple of years and this year has been no different. From selection process to domestic cricket, J&K Cricket Association has done everything in shady manner with no set criteria, path and roadmap in place.

J&K Senior Cricket Team started its season 2023-24 with Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy T20 Tournament. Normally J&K is considered stronger in T20 format owing to boosting some talented all-rounder’s and hard hitters in the side. In contrast to that J&K finished at Sixth place in Group-A that included Eight Teams. They suffered defeats against all top sides while registered win against bottom placed sides.


J&K played seven matches in Group-A of Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy Tournament in Jaipur. Out of seven matches J&K suffered defeats in four and registered win in three. They finished at sixth place in the group just above bottom placed Mizoram and Meghalaya respectively.


1st Match vs Baroda: J&K suffered 18 run defeat in its first match of the season vs Baroda. Batting first Baroda scored 145/5 in 20 overs. In reply J&K scored 126/9 in 20 overs. Yudhvir took three wickets while as Rasikh, Umran Malik took one each. Qamran Iqbal with 37 and Shubham Khajuria 29 were top scorers.

2nd Match vs Hyderabad: J&K suffered eight wicket defeat against Hyderabad. Batting first J&K scored 159/8 in 20 overs. In reply Hyderabad scored 160/2 in 18.3 overs. Yudhvir, sahil took one wicket each. Shubham Pundir 58 and Fazil 25.

3rd Match vs Haryana: J&K were outplayed by Haryana by 73 runs. Batting first Haryana scored 178/3 in 20 overs. In Reply J&K got all out for 105 runs in 17.3 overs. Abid, Umran and Yudhvir one wicket each. Fazil Rashid 61 run knock.

4th Match vs Mumbai:  Suffers 37 run defeat against Mumbai. Batting first Mumbai scored 138/5 in 20 overs. In reply J&K got all out for 101 in 17.3 overs. Abid Mushtaq took two wickets while as Abdul Samad with 38 not out was highest scorer.

5th Match vs Meghalaya: J&K emerged winner by 8 wickets. Meghalaya scored 107/4 in 20 overs. In reply J&K achieved target in 15 overs -111/2. Qamran top scored with 40, Shubham Khajuria scored 27, Henan not out on 22. Rasikh Salam took three wickets.

6th Match vs Mizoram: J&K emerged winner by seven runs. J&K scored 153/4 in 20 overs. Mizoram scored 146/8 in 20 overs. Shubham Khajuria with 53 was highest scorer for J&K while as Henan Malik scored 31 and Qamran Iqbal 28. Fazil scored 25 notout. Yudhvir Singh and Umran Malik took three wickets each.

 7th Match vs Chhattisgarh: J&K emerged winner by 35 runs. J&K scored 185/10 in 19.5 overs. In reply Chattisgarh got all out for 150 in 20 overs.  Shubhma Khajuria with 73 was highest scorer for J&K while as Qamran Iqbal scored 50. Rasikh Salam took six wicket haul in the match.

 Outcome: Both batting and bowling failed against quality sides. No vision, no plan and team just looked directionless who doesn’t know what type of cricket they should play and what their game plan is. The JKCA opted to go into the tournament again with the same set of players who will be playing in List-A 50 Over format and Multi-Day format. They just don’t get it that , cricket is changing,  World is Changing and same Old Delhi way of old Fashioned Cricket format is long gone. All teams go into the events with planning and keep players ready for different formats. They have specialists for all the formats apart from those multi talented layers who can adjust in every format. Not all players can play in every format. 

Players with proven failures in Side: Despite multiyear failures, some of the blue eyed players in the J&K Cricket Team continue to part of playing squads. It has been a mystery, on what basis those few players are given chance after chance despite they proving it through their failures that they can’t deliver. With their inclusion some top talented players are adjusted and fitted into Age group teams like Under-23 level. It is just to shut the mouths and show that they are being groomed.

STARS LOOK DISINTERESTED: This current J&K Cricket Team is full of stars. It has International player and three to four IPL stars. However, most of the big stars in team apart from Rasikh Salam who is making comeback and had to prove himself looked disinterested. The main reason for J&K Cricket Teams failure in the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy tournament has been non performance of stars like Umran Malik, Abdul Samad and Vivrant Sharma. Everyone expected a decent if not over the top performance from them, but they weren’t even average throughout the tournament.

Coach Has No Clue: It is still mystery for cricket fans on what basis the appointment of J&K coach was done last season and continued this year. But for those who follow cricket in J&K closely, know what is the criteria and on what basis the former Delhi Cricketer Ajay Sharma who was banned for match fixing was appointed as coach of J&K Cricket team. Since his arrival, the performance of J&K senior cricket team has gone downslide. After miserable performance from J&K side last season, one expected JKCA to do better and appoint new coach this season, but his continuance made it clear what is cooking within JKCA circles and for them performance doesn’t matter. The coach Ajay Sharma has been away from cricket for many years owing to ban and hardly knows the nitty gritty of modern day cricket. The players are unable to adjust to his old methods and have not been happy with him. Since his arrival, the performance of star players particularly has gone down, putting question mark on his handling of those players.  

JKCA doesn’t care: Amid all this and disastrous performance from all the J&K teams at National level, one that matters doesn’t care. J&K Cricket Association (JKCA) mostly care about its TA/DA’s, Salary, adjusting its own favored persons as officials in teams, choosing its own selectors who help keep selection procedure shady, keeping CAC for the sake of CAC and big money contracts. There is no transparency and there is no accountability. Same set of selectors, officials, CAC are there despite continued failures. While player after one or two failures is discarded, the selectors, team officials, CAC and other support staff remain same. There is no change except that after one dictator another is ruling JKCA and J&K Cricket in the absence of proper democratic cricket body.

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