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Pink Panthers’ defender bats for infra development in J&K

Jammu boy Lucky astounds Kabaddi world

Pink Panthers’ defender bats for infra development in J&K

Talent, it is said, is what you possess, but genius is what possesses you. Talent takes you to great heights, but being genius means exceptional.

Jammu boy Lucky Sharma is the real genius, who after creating history by becoming first player from Jammu and Kashmir and getting a contract of Rs 10,000,00 to play for Jaipur Pink Panthers in the prestigious Pro Kabaddi League (PKL), astounded Kabaddi world with his extraordinary skill and athleticism.

Lucky got the opportunity to play against another formidable team Benguluru Bulls, wherein he got the ‘Game Changer of the Match’ award and impressed one and all with his extraordinary Kabaddi skills.

Growing up, Lucky Sharma was destined to follow his coach’s footsteps and go on to become a Kabaddi player, something other boys from his village dream off. He hails from a small village Pounichak, which is away from the hustle and bustle on the outskirts of Jammu City, not much known for producing good athletes.

Just like other kids of his age, nine-year old Lucky loved spending time playing Kabaddi or watch his childhood coaches Ajay Sharma and Sanjay Sharma play.

“I was a little kid when I used to watch my childhood coach Ajay Sir play which inspired me a lot. With my parents and coach’s support, I continued to follow my dream of making a name in this sport,” said Lucky Sharma, whose team has already sealed berth in the semifinals of Pro Kabaddi League (PKL). However, 26-year old Lucky, son of Bishan Lal Sharma (Driver) and Tripta Devi (House wife), made his first successful move when he got the selectors’ nod for making it to the Junior State team and performed well for J&K. From there-on it was no looking back. Right after completing his intermediate, he got a job in Indian Army at the age of 18, where he got better facilities to hone his skill.

Sharma was in Class 6 when he was introduced to kabaddi on the grounds of the local club in his village. Like most kids and youth in J&K, cricket was where all the attention was but kabaddi caught the boy’s eye.

His childhood coaches Ajay Sharma and Sanjay Sharma worked hard on him and he is making them feel proud today.

His father, a driver by profession, never once stopped his son from doing what he loved, no matter the financial constraints at home. But as Sharma grew up, he realised he needed to contribute to the family (he has two sisters and a younger brother). He joined the Army in 2015, and in the year’s training thereafter, Kabaddi was the farthest in his mind.

“The biggest problem in our region is the lack of facilities—mats, indoor stadiums, gym. There’s one indoor stadium, but even that was built only recently. Until then, it was all about cricket.

There’s no SAI (Sports Authority of India) hostel. If there was one, kids would focus more on sports, work harder and know about aspects like diet, training etc. Most of them come from a middle-class background and can’t afford a lot of things. The moment we get some sort of facilities there, more players will advance to this level,”maintained Lucky.

He said J&K has abundant Kabaddi talent but the dire need is to raise Kabaddi infrastructure so that the skill of the players is polished in a befitting manner, adding that there is a great future for the players in this ‘Desi Khel, Khel Kabaddi’.

Jammu and Kashmir Kabaddi Association alongwith the Government of Jammu and Kashmir need to promote this game and brighten the future of budding players.