Kashmir revives polo after six decades

November 15th, 2008 - 2:24 pm ICT by ANI  

By Parvez Butt
Srinagar, Nov 15 (ANI): After 61 years, a polo-match was recently held in Srinagar.
Polo was last played in Kashmir during the British period at the historic polo ground in Srinagar.
A friendly match was organised by the Jammu and Kahmir Tourism Department for promoting the game. The contesting teams were Kashmir Reds and Kashmir Blues.
Players of Drass Polo Club represented Kashmir Reds while the Polo Club of Leh played as Kashmir Blues. Kashmir blues won the game.
“It is good for tourism department, also for the players. It is also good for people here. We wish that the game is played in Kashmir the way it is played in Ladakh,” said Liyaqat Ali, Player Polo.
The participants rode horses specially ordered from Gulmarg. Horse polo had already shown good results in attracting tourists to Ladakh.
“We have organised this polo match to promote the sports and tourism. This match was organised at the time of maharajas. This is a royal game and our focus is on high spending tourists. We are trying to attract the high spending tourists through this game,” said Farooq Ahmed Shah, Director Tourism Kashmir.
Polo was a very popular game until the fall of Dogra regime in the State and now it is confined to only Leh and Kargil since 1947.
Attempts were made earlier also to organize such events in the valley but could not succeed due to militancy in the state. (ANI)

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