GUREZ, Feb 10: Snow cricket has become a popular sport in the snowy hills of Gurez valley in northern region of Kashmir, bringing an exciting twist to the otherwise monotonous winter days.
Snow cricket has truly become a delightful spectacle, injecting life into the seemingly dull winter months in Kashmir in this year’s most cold valley.
The game not only entertains the participants, but also captivates the interest of onlookers who appreciate the unique blend of sport and winter beauty.
Amid sub-zero temperatures, with mesmerizing views of snow-covered mountains as the backdrop, the sport of snow cricket in Gurez valley takes center stage.
Abid Gurezi a social activist told Kashmir Despatch that I want to clarify that snow cricket has been a part of our lives since 1995. The reason it may seem new to some is because there was no mobile network back then. Thanks to the internet and social media, videos of snow cricket in Gurez are now reaching a wider audience.
In January 2022, Australian batsman Marnus Labuschagne had reshared a video of young people playing cricket on snow in the Gurez area of Bandipora district in north Kashmir, around 130 kilometres from Srinagar city, on his Twitter handle with the comment: “How good is that.”
Aijaz, an entrepreneur told Kashmir Despatch that Gurez has the potential to become a winter sports hub.
He said that the administration should make more efforts to tap into this potential so that people, especially athletes from across the country, would be attracted to come here.
He emphasized that the Gurez valley remains covered in snow for approximately six months, providing an excellent opportunity to host various winter sports activities.
Deputy Commissioner Bandipora, Shakeel ul Rehman said promoting tourism in Gurez and the entire district is our utmost priority, and we are determined to transform Gurez into a remarkable tourist destination.
He said that to encourage winter sports, the Youth Services & Sports Department has already provided snow skiing equipment for the students and youth of Gurez. We are actively working on implementing other initiatives to elevate winter sports in Gurez to a grand scale.
The snow cricket frenzy is spreading, from Gurez to south Kashmir’s Shopian and Pulwama districts.
This year the inaugural snow sports carnival was arranged by the Jammu & Kashmir Sports Council at Sports Stadium Batapora in Shopian, approximately 50 kilometers from Srinagar.
Suhail Khan is a filmmaker, content writer, and freelance journalist.