“Militancy hotbed” Sopore has traded guns for cricket bats.
After hitting the headlines for violence for over 20 years, the district is about to hit some fours and sixes in its first Twenty-20 cricket tournament, organised by the state police and the J&K Sports Council. So far, the police and locals have not shared a very cordial relation in this separatist bastion.
But Sunday’s opening ceremony at the Khushal Sports Stadium saw a line-up of no less than 56 local teams.
An exhibition match of 15 overs was also played between two teams — Sopore Blue and Sopore Red.
Imtiyaz Hussain, superintendent of police, Sopore, said the tournament was meant to bridge the gap between “police and people”.
“It will provide an opportunity to know each other and clear some perceived misconceptions,” he said. The event was inaugurated by minister of state for home affairs, Nasir Aslam Wani.