In an exclusive interview with DafaNews, Tanveer, who impressed Leicestershire coaches hopes—to excel with both bat and ball. He is eyeing Team India, but first he’s got cricket history to make in the domestic circuit.
By Tahir Ibn Manzoor
From Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), a province that has been a bone of contention—between India and Pakistan for over seven decades, youngsters are rising to the challenge. Away from the daily skirmishes in the valley—they have become the focal point of a renewed sense of hope.
For Tanveer, failure ‘isn’t an option’ to survive in competitive cricketing world. He is keen to fight for where he wants to be in his life as an aspiring athlete.
Amongst 33 cricket talents, the 24-year-old all-rounder from Kashmir’s Badipora in central Kashmir’s Budgam district, has bagged a paid—Funngage Cricket Scholarship programme from, for a period of five years.
Former Team India cricketer Gautam Gambhir, who served as the Brand Ambassador for the sports firm, has already hailed Tanveer’s efforts. He wishes him good luck for future endeavours.
In October 2018, Tanveer underwent a trial in Noida—for the first time through a gradual procedure before joining the camp in Meerut in January, 2019.
Later on, in England, Tanveer Ahmed has found his joy in 2019. It might have taken him some time, but he has gained trust, earned respect before taking delight in writing a powerful narrative.
“It’s a massive thing for me—to get an opportunity and play in England, which was scheduled for Australia earlier. I have heard a lot about sporting facilities over there and I have thoroughly enjoyed on making the most of my lucky break during the 24-day proper cricketing schedule. It’s a trip to remember for lifetime,” Tanveer told DafaNews exclusively after practicing at the den of Leicestershire County Cricket Club (LCC) recently.
The LCC head coach—Paul Nixon has also hailed Tanveer for his work ethic. Besides, Nixon has also lauded efforts of Andhra Pradesh-based youngster—Gulfaam.
“They were all solid cricketers, and have a good foundation to do well. Tanveer and Gulfaam were outstanding players. I worked with the guys in the nets. However, I didn’t work with them on their fielding that was done by our other coaches. I hope he [Tanveer] is doing well,” Nixon told DafaNews.
The sturdy all-rounder Tanveer has become one of the cricketers from the erstwhile state of J&K—to train on English soil. It is a success story – and a perfect tale of living one’s dreams beyond mere recognition after earning praise from former English wicketkeeper-batsman, Nixon.
“In a game against Leicestershire Second XI, I scored 28-ball 78 with a Kashmiri willow, and hit the longest six at the main ground. To which, [Paul] Nixon replied, ‘I want to see your bat.’ He also said, ‘keep playing like this and focus on what you actually know the best,” Tanveer asserted.
Not only this, the highly-skilled cricketer Tanveer has found a much-needed spark – and is going the distance on the cricketing field when he was asked by Leicestershire’s Second XI coach—including Dip Patel and Jigar Naik to join the club.
“Coaches specially considered me to return back to the United Kingdom for cricket. Even they told the CEO of Funngage – Kavendra Karan Singh that they want me to be a part of the best clubs in Leicester,” says chuffed Tanveer.
The most economical bowler during a little over three-week programme in the East Midlands region of England, got the wickets of Nick Welch and Arron Lilley in one of the games.
Optimistic Tanveer sees Australia and England as a breeding ground for young and talented cricketers – and he is optimistic of featuring in the top-flight cricket for India in the near future.
“I found the infrastructure incredible in England,” Tanveer stated.
The young prodigy, whose favourite all-rounder is—Andrew Symonds, is hoping to play against Australia someday. His aim is to face Australia and sees a great all-rounder and athlete in Shane Watson and Mitchell Starc.
Tanveer, who took up the sport at the age of seven, can pin his national call-up hopes on his consistency in three distinct traits; he’s known for acrobatics on the field, equally teasing opponents with the ball, and has a massive range to send balls literally into an orbit.
The lanky pacer is among many in a long list of cricket’s young prodigies. He doesn’t carry any burden whatsoever, but he’s eager to make the most of his reputation by leaving a significant impact in the local tourneys in Kashmir – and then in the country’s bustling capital—New Delhi where he spent some crucial years of his life, to impress one and all with his all-round show.
Meanwhile, following a mega slump in the Jammu & Kashmir Cricket Association (JKCA), it has recently witnessed the redrafting on the constitution which subsequently put an end to the club system, of late.
Far from its political connotation, it has paved a way for players like Tanveer—to make an immediate impact by emerging as torchbearers of the game.
In Tanveer’s game plan, aesthetics and quality hold significant importance, and he is there to imbibe lessons which he can subsequently impart to the young crop of cricketers back home.
Apart from turmoil, isolation and odds in life, Tanveer’s hard-fought battle set him as an example of the flamethrowers with radiating confidence. His fascination lies in his field of dreams, and now he considers he’s no more a lost soul.
Tanveer had excelled in many local competitions before landing in Delhi—to knit his cricketing dream.
Let’s go to a bit of background:
Earlier, Tanveer was set to train under the tutelage of former South African Test cricketer H. D. Ackerman in Perth. However, due to the unavoidable circumstances the training camp didn’t take place.
“I think it’s a great opportunity for every single boy that has been granted scholarship and an opportunity to come play for a few weeks…” Ackerman told earlier.
In 2016, Ackerman relocated to Australia and now serves as the director of coaching for Perth’s Guildford Grammar School.
“For some it’s their first time outside of India so that’s an experience itself. I went to India to see how it was run and the standard of the players,” Ackerman stated.
In India, the experts during the assessment of the young cream of players saw Ackerman himself taking the centre stage prior to Tanveer’s show in England.
Furthermore, Samuel Jayraj, KL Rahul’s coach, and Sanjay Bharadhwaj, Gautam Gambhir’s coach, have also provided tidbits to players from 15-17 states which included Tanveer from J&K.
Also, apart from them, former BCCI Umpire and Ranji player K. Barathan and Biju Nair, who is a BCCI Level C and Ranji team coach, have partaken in finding the handful of raw talent.
While looking at the potential of the players, Dinesh Lad, who has nursed Shardul Thakur, has also played a part in the assessment of youngsters.
Tanveer, who worked in a multi-national company while completing his M.Tech, is keen to make most of the opportunity.
Interestingly, it was India’s first cricket scholarship programme which would extend to 21 days under the watchful eyes of former ace cricketers as well in Australia.
In the shadow of many other cricketers, Tanveer keeps his profile low, and that’s what sets him apart from others who are in his same age group. He believes Kashmir is still a place where you can achieve by representing your own.
Tanveer, who represented Ranji Greens in 2014, did every possible thing to live his dream. He’s someone who is special and he’s potentially destined to go a long way if taken care of.
“My journey hasn’t been that simple, to be honest. But it’s not done. I am not even close. I have a long way to go, and there will be times when many would expect a lot from me,” Tanveer stated.
Remember the name, Tanveer. He’s being touted as next big thing as a bowling all-rounder from Kashmir. Fresh on the sphere, he pumped fresh air in the cricketing arena in the politically-troubled Kashmir.