By Rafiq A Wani
Srinagar: Nayeem Ahmad Bhat, who was shot dead by government forces on Tuesday in Handwara, had all the ingredients to be a ‘perfect all-rounder’, say his coaches and admirers.
Nayeem was addressed as ‘Kohli’ among his teammates and fans for cricketing skills and passion.
Nayeem’s potential was evident from the word go and acknowledged by those who matter, earning him a spot in Kashmir Gymkhana Club Blues and Pride Riders- a T-20 franchise that plays in the Downtown Champions league.
For coaches and teammates, Nayeem wanted to make it big.
“Nayeem was a very humble and down to earth cricketer and was taking his game seriously,” Manzoor Ahmad Dar-coach of Kashmir Gymkhana Club- told Kashmir Reader.
Dar said, Nayeem was a dedicated cricketer and would come all the way to Srinagar from Handwara to practice and train.
A strongly built medium pacer who was a useful middle order batsman, Nayeem’s death has left his teammates and coaches in shock.
Mubashir Hassan, who is the mentor cum coach of Pride Riders, said he was devastated and saddened by the tragic death of talented cricketer (Nayeem).
“Nayeem was a perfect all-rounder and was having a bright future and promising career ahead. He was a fine young talent who had all the ingredients to make it big,” said Hassan.
For Hassan, Nayeem was a keen learner and as a coach he had high hopes from the young talent whose cricketing career was cut by bullets.
In Handwara, he would ply his trade for Star Eleven club. An undergraduate student at the Government Degree College Nayeem’s record in academics wasn’t bad either. He had been selected for an All India level coaching camp for cricket three years ago.
Nayeem had his dreams to go places in cricketing field, hoping to hit balls for sixes and rattle stumps with his yorkers, little did he know his innings would come to an end before he could realise any of his ambitions.