J&K’s former Ranji players, Howaid Hamid and Sameer Ali have completed their one year NIS Diploma Course in cricket discipline at Netaji Subhas National Institute of Sports (NSNIS) Patiala, this year.
The duo has topped in their ‘main sports’ for the batch 2017-18 in which Howaid got first rank while Sameer grabbed second.
From past one year, Howaid and Sameer are associated with State Cricket Academy (SCA) of Jammu and Kashmir State Sports Council (JKSSC) to impart coaching to aspiring cricketers.
Howaid, 37, hails from Srinagar and is a senior J&K Ranji cricketer, who left playing cricket in 2010.
Soon after retiring as a player in 2010, Howaid became the part of selection committee of Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association (JKCA) from 2012 to 2017.
Apart from being part of the selection committee, Howaid has remained at the forefront to coach aspiring cricketers of the state with a purpose to produce professional cricketers.
Talking to Rising Kashmir, Howaid Hamid said that coaching is altogether a different phenomenon and to be the professional coach, it was imperative for him to complete course from NSNIS commonly known as NIS.
“It was a wonderful experience in NIS Patiala. We got opportunity to enrich our knowledge related to the game and coaching with latest techniques and trends. The theoretical and practical aspects gave us a deep insight about the sports coaching,” he said and adds, “By relating the game with laws of physics and with other relevant branches of sports science was completely a new experience to me and it will prove beneficial while coaching.”
He further said due to technical hitches, the cricketers of state have little cricketing span and fail to leave any mark at higher level.
In 2017, Howaid joined State Cricket Academy of Jammu and Kashmir State Sports Council and started his new journey as a cricket coach.
“It is a demand of time to have a pool of well qualified coaches in the state so as to prepare budding cricketers for long run,” he says.
Howaid has displayed his cricketing skills in seven First Class (Ranji Trophy) matches in which he has scored 208 runs with 42 runs highest individual score.
At junior level, Howaid has played 28 matches, scoring a total of 668 runs with 72 runs as his highest individual score.
He says the sportsperson is exposed to new challenges which enthuses a new spirit in them to mark their own journey.
“We will give our cent percent to train the youth of J&K and imbibe new techniques and skills among them. Indulging in sports will help our young generation to overcome their hurdles which in turn boost their morale and confidence. They will become inspiration for others as well,” he said.
He said government should look forward in making sports a priority sector in the state and refrain from only doing lip service.
Sameer Ali, 32, the young gun, debuted in First Class cricket as fast bowler in 2005 against Jharkhand at MA Stadium Jammu.
During his debut season, Sameer took seven wicket haul against Haryana played at J&K Sher-e-Kashmir Stadium in 2005, which became his best performance so far.
From past one-year, Sameer has been associated with State Cricket Academy to provide coaching to wannabe cricketers.
Sameer said that he was desirous to explore coaching skills and impart them to budding cricketers which motivated him pursue NIS Course.
“To bag a seat for NIS diploma is one of the toughest tasks as it involves high competition. The course is fruitful though a bit tough. We had to start our day from early morning to receive training and coach education. Apart from main sports, we were also acquainted with other sports disciplines,” he said and added,” To understand minute details of our main sports—cricket, we have to go through the theoretical and experimental sessions.”
He says the course helped him to comprehend all the aspects of game which infused a new experience and exposure in him.
“It was a great experience for me. Prior to NIS course, I was unaware about different cricketing skills, body mechanism, latest trends and techniques of the game, etc but with this course I am able to master the skills, techniques of the game, about means and methods of coaching, how to maintain physical and mental fitness, how to deal with beginners and pro players during coaching, how to deal with injuries on the field etc and there is always scope for learning,” he says.
He says as a professional coach he will remain at forefront to imbibe skills and knowledge among aspiring cricketers.
“My desire is to prepare and produce national and international level cricketers from the state. Our state has immense potential but we need to harness it from the right age,” Sameer says.
Recalling his journey, Sameer said he didn’t get the platform at right time which subsequently minimized his cricketing span.
“The things that should have come to me at an early stage came to me late because of lack of coaching, infrastructure, lack of proper guidance and counselling etc. But my endeavour is that children should get the platform at right age so that they won’t face hitches later,” he says.
Being one of the top medium pacers in J&K that JKCA has produced, Sameer has rattled the wickets of top brass of Indian cricket team in Vijay Hazare Trophy.
“I’ve taken the wicket of Virat Kohli in Vijay Hazare Trophy which is one of my biggest achievements in First Class Cricket. I’ve also taken wickets of Gautam Ghambir, Virendra Sehwag, Shikhar Dhawan etc,” he claims.
However, the career of Sameer in cricket was short and he played his last match against Surashtra in 2015-2016 Ranji Trophy seasons.
“Every player has a dream to represent their country, the thing I was unable to do. But as a coach my efforts will be to hunt and harness cricketers who will achieve their goals in future,” he says.
Getting inspired from his coach, Sameer embarked a new role to train cricketers on professional lines.
“I was inspired by my coach, Abdul Qayoom Khan, who was himself an NIS coach. I was getting coaching under him from junior, university and Ranji level. So he inspired me for taking the new role as coach. The hidden aim for doing NIS is to provide training to aspiring cricketers from right age so that they propel in cricketing journey without facing hurdles that I had to counter,”
The duo, Howaid and Sameer said that JKCA is a big platform for them to serve and prepare boys from grassroots.
“JKCA will prove a great stage for us to display our coaching skills and expertise. Our plan will be to hold fitness and coaching camps for boys U-14, U-16 and U-19 age groups to prepare them for highly competitive levels,” they concluded.