Manzoor Dar came into limelight after he was picked during the auctions of 11th edition of Indian Premier League. Following his impressive performances in various domestic matches, Manzoor was picked in the Jammu and Kashmir team for Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2016-17. On his debut against Services, Manzoor scored a 12-ball 27, with 2 fours and 3 sixes, in a desperate attempt to save his side from defeat. He made his List- A debut the very year, in the Vijay Hazare Trophy match against Hyderabad. Manzoor dismissed both the opponent openers, maintaining an economy of 5 and scored 14 off 7 balls.
Manzoor worked as a night guard to earn INR 60 per day, while playing cricket in the day time. The struggle paid off in the 2017-18 season. In the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, Manzoor delivered brilliant performances in back-to-back matches. He scored a 23-ball 36 against Himachal Pradesh. He scored a 12-ball 20 to help his team win against Haryana, scored 38 off 33 and registered figures of 1 for 17 against Punjab to guide Jammu and Kashmir to victory. Following the season, Manzoor bagged an IPL contract with Kings XI Punjab and will be the only Jammu and Kashmir player to feature in the 11th edition of IPL.
On that note, we at Sportswallah got in touch with Manzoor, where the KXIP cricketer spoke about the day he got auctioned in IPL, his remarks on hitting a 200 meter six and other stuffs.
Abhishek Kumar (AK) - What was actually happening during the auction day and also after you got picked by KXIP? How wild was the celebration in your village?
Manzoor Dar (MD) - At the time of auction, I was in Jammu in a camp for Vijay Hazare Trophy. On day 1 of the auction, I watched the auction in the evening because I was in camp in the day time. Next day I came back around 2 pm from the camp to watch the auction. Two of my friends were already at my place to watch the auction.
And when my name came in the auction, I had decided that I will record this moment of my name flashing in TV. We were watching it normally but the moment Preity mam bid for me, next 5 minutes we did not know what happened exactly.
Couple of minutes later, I started getting calls and few minutes later, my mom had started crying because of happiness. Everyone was very happy with my selection in IPL. It was definitely an emotional moment as well. Everybody around the village came to our house to congratulate us. We shared sweets, burned crackers. I had never seen my parents this much happy before.
AK - Do you think there was some specific reason behind KXIP bidding for you in the auction because you had won Jammu and Kashmir two games against Punjab in domestic T20s?
MD - Well, I don’t know anything on this. However, I have been doing well in last two years. Talking about Punjab, they have been always a strong team, filled with star cricketers. So, we defeated them in back to back years in domestic T20, in which I played a crucial role. And maybe they picked me because I performed well against Punjab.
AK - What is the story of hitting 200 meter six?
MD - Nobody has hit a 200 meter six. I do hit long sixes and that is my natural style of playing and because of that I am here today. Due to big-hitting abilities, people in my village used to ask me to try for 200 meter six when I can hit 100 meter easily.
AK - What are the jobs you did before turning into a professional cricketer? Also, are you still involved in some other profession other than being a cricketer?
MD - Well, it’s a long story and yes I have done many jobs in my life. I started as a labour, then wood cutting, etc. In between I had started playing as well. Right now I am only focusing on cricket.
AK - How has culture of sport changed after players like Parvez Rasool, Samiullah and now you have made names from the valley?
MD - Well, the culture has been always strong here when it comes to cricket and huge credit goes to players like Sami bhai and Parvez Rasool. Sami bhai has been role model to me and I have been following him since my childhood. They are like legends of J & K and have done a lot for cricket in the state.
AK - Please tell us how difficult it was for you to adjust with turf wickets after having a habit of playing on the matt.
MD - It was not easy but the more I played the more I learned about turf wickets. Initially, I played most of my cricket on matting wickets. It started with the increase in the level of cricket and getting the experience of players in the team. Now, I am used to turf wickets and comfortable playing on it.