How does one play cricket without arms?
Meet Amir Hussain Lone, who not only plays the game but is captain of the Jammu and Kashmir Para-cricket team.
Amir, an avid fan of the legendary Sachin Tendulkar, overcame gigantic obstacles to realise his dream of playing cricket which were almost shattered when he lost both his arms in a freak accident — ironically at a bat-manufacturing unit owned by his father in Bijbehara town of south Kashmir.
So how does a double-arm-amputee bat and bowl while playing cricket?
Amir holds the bat between his left shoulder and head.
His favourite shot is a flick off his legs towards square leg — shot played with elan by his idol.
While bowling, the 26-year-old uses his right foot to grip the ‘cherry’ and deliver a loopy legspinner, which many able-bodied aspiring cricketers would envy.
"I am a great fan of Tendulkar and want to play like him for the national team. He is my inspiration," Amir, who hails from Wagam village here — 42 kms from Srinagar, said.
While many people including doctors and army played their role in saving Amir’s life, the credit for his survival must go to his father — Bashir Ahmad Lone — who spent a ‘fortune’ on the treatment of his son, then just seven years old.
The boy lost both of his arms at his father’s sawmill in 1997 where he had gone to deliver lunch to his brother. While his brother was having lunch, Amir started fiddling with the switches of the sawmill — used for making bat clefts — when both his arms were caught in the conveyor belt and were severed on the spot.
"I met with an accident in 1997 at our sawmill when I was reading in Class II. There was nobody at that time. I had gone there to drop the lunch for my brother and while playing got entangled as a result of which both of my arms got amputated," the cricket-crazy youth said.
He said the local Army unit came to his rescue and shifted him to a hospital in their vehicle.
"The Army came and took me in their vehicle to a hospital. We faced a lot of hardships due to the situation at that time. After coming back to my residence three years later, many people told my parents that I am not worth living.
They even told my parents that if they spend money on him, it will go waste. It is better to kill him as he is not worth a living," he said with a lump in his throat.
However, he said with the grace of Almighty, he faced the challenge with determination, never lost hope and continued the march ahead.
"I had to face a lot of struggle in life, but never gave up," he said.