Celebrations are going on at the residence of Jasia Akhtar here ever since she became the first woman cricketer from Jammu and Kashmir to be picked by a Women's Premier League (WPL) franchise during the auction in Mumbai on Monday. (More Cricket News)
"When I got the news of Jasia's selection, I could not believe it. I am feeling very happy for her," Jasia's cousin, Khushnuma, told PTI as a stream of neighbours visited the cricketer's house in Shopian to celebrate her achievement.
The 34-year-old right-hand top-order batter was picked by Delhi Capitals for a base price of Rs 20 lakh.
"Jasia jaisi koi nahi. The #CapitalsUniverse is stoked to have you!" DC tweeted after the auction.
The second of five siblings, Jasia, who represents Rajasthan in domestic cricket, was crazy about the game since childhood.
"She was mad about cricket right from childhood. When we used to study, she would go out to play," Khushnuma said, as well-wishers sipped the traditional kehwa.
Khalid Hamid, Jasia's first coach, hoped she gets enough opportunities to showcase her skills.
"We hope she gets enough chances and fulfils her dream of performing on the international stage," Hamid said.
Murtuza Bashir, who helped Jasia hone cricketing skills while she was at school, said there is no dearth of sporting talent in Kashmir but infrastructure needs to be upgraded for grooming talent.
"My request to the administration is to provide us with the infrastructure and facilities where raw talent can be identified and players can be groomed. You will find many Jasia Akhtars, Abdul Samads and Parvez Rasools here. The need is to have an outdoor stadium and an indoor stadium where the raw talent can be prepared for a bigger stage," Bashir said.
"I want to thank Delhi Capitals who showed faith in her capabilities. I hope she performs as per the expectations of the team management," he added.