“Since all the communication, including social media outlets, in J&K has been blocked, we have not been able to speak to our parents, brothers and sisters since the last 11 days,” both Khan and Rather told TOI from Worcester on Wednesday.
“We want to share the news of our team’s triumph with our near and dear ones, but can’t. We’re really happy about India’s victory here, but it is so sad and disappointing that we can’t share this joy with our parents for now. We’re hoping Allah keeps them fine,” hoped Rather.
Khan belongs to Gopalpura in south Kashmir, while Rather hails from Tarzoo in Sopore, in Baramulla district.
What hurt them even more is that they couldn’t even speak to their parents on Eid.
“It’s our biggest festival, and we were away from home during Eid for the first time. We were feeling so bad but we couldn’t even speak to our parents. However, our teammates were very supportive. Each one of them wished us warmly,” said Khan.
Creditably, these cricketers were able to remain focused on the task in hand, despite being deeply worried about the well-being of their family and relatives back home. Khan, who has an incapacitated right leg, is an opener. He scored a 33-ball 69 in the team’s win over Pakistan. Interestingly, he’s a qualified electrical engineer.
At 19, Rather is the youngest member of the team, and the side’s best pacer. He took five wickets in the tournament. He had to have the fingers of his right hand amputated after a fire accident.
“Rather was the ‘baby’ of our team. He is a fine left-arm fast bowler, who took wickets for us in almost every game. He can easily play for the Mumbai Under-23 team,” praised Sulakshan Kulkarni, the team’s coach.
Brief Scores: India 180/7 in 20 overs (Ravindra Sante 53, Suganesh Mahendaran 33) beat England 144/9 in 20 overs (Angus Brown 44) by 36 runs