Muzaffarabad is all set to witness one of a kind league as Kashmir Premier League gears up to give us an action packed tournament.
If anything, we take our cricket very seriously and so does Adil Waheed, the man who is on a mission to revive cricket. And today we’ve sat down with the man of the hour, the CEO and co-owner of Mirpur Royals in the Kashmir Premier League to see what drives him.
“As a patriotic Pakistani and the CEO of the Mirpur Royals team, I feel immensely proud to represent this great platform and bring this amazing opportunity to our Kashmiri youth to showcase their talent. Kashmiris are very passionate about cricket, and I’m happy to announce that we have 5 Kashmiri players in each time of KPL this year! We also have a few overseas Kashmiri players playing. We give preference to Kashmiri talent for the gold category of KPL to promote Kashmir and to represent Kashmir across the nation. We hope by taking this step we will highlight the name of our country in the whole world, and show to the world how peace-loving and patriotic Kashmiris are.
I’m excited to see my team fight like a royal kyun kay #TajKaRaj hoga!”
Q-1: Mr. Adil. Please tell us more about yourself.
A: My name is Adil Waheed. I am the CEO and Co-owner of Mirpur Royals cricket team. I come from a business background. We have been in the manufacturing business since many years. Apart from looking after our family business, I am an avid Polo player and am very passionate about sports and cricket. Other than that, I’m also a Philanthropist and believe in giving back to society as much as I can, in order to promote good causes and the welfare of others.
Q-2: How did you end up with Kashmir Premier League and owning the Mirpur Royals team?
A: I have always been into sports, cricket particularly has been a passion. I was always keen to play cricket whenever I got a chance. When I came to know about KPL, it instantly got my attention. Primarily the reason behind my interest was the word ‘Kashmir’ in the name of the league. Being a Pakistani, I wanted to play my role in any capacity to contribute my humble efforts for the cause of Kashmir and also to support Kashmiris.
KPL provided me this opportunity and I ended up obtaining the ownership of Mirpur Royals. I feel immensely proud to represent this great platform and bring this amazing opportunity to our Kashmiri youth to showcase their talent.
Q-3: How do you think promoting Kashmir in cricket will create a great positive image of Pakistan and its cause towards Kashmir?
A: Kashmir cause is a global cause. Pakistan has been the voice of Kashmiris at all forums around the world including the United Nations platform. KPL will definitely be a very effective way to create awareness about Kashmir, its people and the unlimited natural, biological and cultural features which attracts tourists from all over the world. Cricket is played and watched in half of the world and there could be no better platform to promote Kashmiri youth and cricketers internationally other than cricket.
Q-4: Do you have plans for promoting cricketers at national or international level? After KPL, should we expect Kashmiri players or Mirpur Royals players getting a chance to play international cricket or in other T20 leagues?
A: Right now, all my focus is on the first edition of KPL and my team. Definitely the primary objective of Mirpur Royals is to identify talent from Kashmir and develop them to be able to take part in other national and international competitions. After the conclusion of first edition of KPL, our management will formulate a strategy and plan for future activities related to talent hunt and players’ grooming.
Q-5: How much support did you get from ICC, PCB, Government of Azad Jammu and Kashmir and other stakeholders?
A: All the stakeholders including the ICC, PCB, Government of AJ&K have been very supportive right from the beginning. We are thankful to all the departments, organizations and our sponsors for their unlimited support and guidance.
Q-6: Your message to the government regarding promotion of sports in Kashmir?
A: The slogan of KPL “Khelo Azadi Se” is the answer to your question. This is very strong slogan which depicts the difficulties and challenges faced by the people of Kashmir and shows the true meaning of Azadi. My message is to continue with similar events and introduce more sports so that the youth can get opportunity to show their potential and talent on all sports.
Q-7: How will you describe your team and selected players?
A: As you can see, we have picked Shoaib Malik as the iconic player for our team. Shoaib is rated among the top players of T20 and that is why he is a part of the majority T20 leagues worldwide. His experience would be very helpful for all the young players in the team. Also, we have hard hitting players and world class fast bowler. The emerging players will definitely learn from them during the competition.