It was one of the rare occasions for Wasim Iqbal, the 25-year-old opening batsman of the Indian physical disability team. He was away from home on the auspicious festival of Eid for the first time in life. On Monday, Iqbal took the field with the bat against Pakistan at Worcestershire’s Kidderminster Cricket club in the final league game of the first T20 Physical Disability World Championship.
During that time, he thought about his family, who stays in the Gopal Pora village of the Anantnag district in Kashmir. He last spoke to them on August 3 and was a tad nervous. A few days later, the historic Article 370 abolition took place and Jammu and Kashmir got divided into two Union Territories. He revealed how challenging it was to concentrate on the high-voltage match.
“I was very tense. I still am. I haven’t spoken to my family since last almost 10 days. It was difficult to put everything behind and concentrate on the match, that too against Pakistan, the most awaited one of the tournaments for us. However, I managed to pull it off and win the game for my team,” Iqbal was quoted as saying in India Today.
‘I wish I could communicate with them just for a few minutes’
The Young Turk didn’t flatter to deceive by any stretch of the imagination. He scored 69 runs off 43 deliveries, which included four boundaries and six sixes. Iqbal had more reasons to cheer as India chased down 150 in 17.1 overs and the batsman got the Player of the Match award.
“I got the man-of-the-match award. To do this on Eid was so special, this was such a big day for me. Unfortunately, my family would not even know about it. I am worried for them and I am sure they will be very concerned for me too. I wish I could communicate with them just for a few minutes. They were so excited when I was leaving for this tournament,” he added.
Iqbal is an engineering graduate and is currently searching for a job. In his childhood, a leg surgery went wrong and it ensured a life-long problem. He joined the local club ‘Khan Sultans’, which is mentored by Parvez Rasool, who went on to play an ODI and T20I each.
Iqbal believes that a victory in the tournament final will turn out to be a massive positive for disability cricket in India. Iqbal is looking forward to traveling back home and sharing all the happy memories and achievements with his family and other dear ones.