Excelsior Sports Correspondent
SRINAGAR, Dec 5: On one hand Government claims to give boost to sports for engaging Kashmiri youth so that they may not derail from the mainstream and on the other hand the sportspersons are being neglected by the Government.
The Jammu and Kashmir Forest department has posted an unqualified person as the Sports Officer of the department despite the presence of many State-level players and recognized coaches who have been appointed in the department on sports category.
The employees said the incumbent sports officer lacks the qualification required for the post.
“He has neither participated in any Sports event nor is he holding any professional degree or document,” an official said, adding that the officer has been posted there on political influence.
As per the employees, the present sports officer, Manzoor Ahmad Sheikh, who happens to be Forest officer is unsuitable for the job and has managed to install a Class IV employee as Mukhtar Ahmad Teli as Coach of the Department’s Cricket team. Ironically, the coach was placed after replacing the former Ranji Trophy player and BCCI recognized coach, Manzoor Ahmad Dar who is Assistant Director in Forest Protection Force.
“This has been done with the help of some blue-eyed officials,” the employees,” said.
Manzoor is a recognized Level-A Cricket coach of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
For the last nine years, he has been coaching the U-19 and U-23 teams of the state for the different Cricket tournaments, besides he has been participating in different tournaments of the department as player and coach since 2010.
In the year 1998, he was selected in the department as the Inspector of Forest Protection Force after qualifying the entrance test of Jammu and Kashmir Service Selection Board (JKSSB). Being a professional cricket player he was immediately inducted into the cricket team of the department. Since then he has been associated with the cricket team and has also lead the team in 2007. He has also coached the team for different tournaments which has helped the team to win several tournaments. The team has won 7 gold, 6 silver and 3 bronze medals in all India Forest Sports meet since 1999.
Jammu and Kashmir Forest department is the only department that has full-fledged Cricket, Football, Billiards, Snooker and other teams which have been winning medals at all India Forest sports meet and also participated in the tournaments organized by the Department. However, the absence of deserved forest officer the sportspersons are facing a tough time, the employees said.