The tense situation prevailing in Jammu and Kashmir at the moment has even touched the cricket world. News agency ANI has reported that around 100 cricketers, who had gathered for a camp in the valley, have been ordered to return home. The most prominent personality present at the camp was former India cricketer Irfan Pathan, in his capacity as mentor-cum-coach of Jammu and Kashmir team.
The all-rounder told ANI: "Our camp has been shut down and the cricketers were sent back to their homes. The camp was from June 14 to July 14 and after a break of ten days, camp restarted from July 25. Yesterday, about 100 players were sent to their home. The matches were scheduled from July 31 and will last till August 17. These matches were organised for the selection of district cricketers."
This follows the decision by government of India to issue a serious advisory to all tourists as well as pilgrims for Amarnath Yatra to leave the state as early as possible. Following this advisory, the army has also announced the discovery of sniper rifles and other weapons which, according to them, were intended to be used to target the Amarnath Yatra pilgrims.
On top of that, in operations conducted by the Army, a few terrorists have been killed. The Indian Army has also reported heavy firing from the Pakistani side.
The disturbances in the valley that have engulfed it in the last decade have also adversely affected a very encouraging trend of cricket gaining popularity in the region. The emergence of Parvez Rasool, an off-spinner who impressed everyone in the 2012/13 domestic season and ended up being selected for the Indian national team, was supposed to bring more youngsters from the valley into playing the game.
Many experts have also commented upon the great popularity of cricket in the valley and have even suggested using it to bring the youth of Kashmir into the mainstream. However, with the kind of disturbances affecting the state, even that optimism has subsided.