Kashmir’s promising youngster Mateen Teli, who after spending most of his time in Delhi, India flew to London in 2018 after bagging a scholarship to study in England and pursue his long-awaited dream. He was recently picked as a net bowler for the English team during the recently-concluded England-New Zealand Test series.
It was Nottingham County Assistant coach Bilal Shafayat who recommended Mateen’s name.
“‘Mateen, I had recommended your name [as a net bowler]’. I was over the moon,”‘ Mateen told Cricnode.com.
Teli, who bowls at a brisk pace and hails from north Kashmir’s Arampora area of Sopore town, revealed he had received a call, however, it wasn’t directly from the England Cricket Board.
Mateen on the joy of rubbing shoulders with England players:
“I am literally chuffed. Everybody has a dream and I had mine to bowl to the cricketing stars. This is one of those moments I had dreamt about. I had waited for so long and worked hard. I was told to come to Trent Bridge. ‘You’re going to be the net bowler’,” elated Teli recalled who was so disheartened that he stayed away from cricket for at least three years.
“I was always interested in working hard to play cricket at an international level. It is all about the work ethic. I am keen to do what it takes me to make it at the elite level,” Teli, who represents Cavaliers & Carrington Cricket Club.
It becomes pertinent to mention that Teli has been honing his skills at one of the cricket clubs in England for some time now.
“Well, I would spend this time learning from the greats of the game. The conversation has been very beneficial in many ways and to be around the stars is a moment to cherish for a lifetime. Above all, the experience of the team atmosphere. It’s very important to pick their brains and go back to prove the mettle. Exciting times are ahead and I am yet to sink in,” he maintained.
The footage also revealed the lanky Teli beaming smile while bowling in the nets at Trent Bridge Stadium. Apart from troubling batters, Teli dismissed Jonny Bairstow and Zak Crawley during the practice session. He has also impressed veteran Paul Collingwood with his bowling.
Back home, his middle-class family was happy regarding this massive development.
Despite the struggle in Kashmir, Teli, who has completed his Master’s in Mass Communication, has made a stride to look forward by bowling his heart out.
The Hero of Kashmir’s Sopore town
Teli, who took up cricket at a young age maintained it is a good break for him to rub shoulders with top players.
“It is a massive opportunity for me to get recognised for the years to come,” Teli quipped.
Teli also revealed an interesting conversation with prominent batter Bairstow, who told him “you’re bowling well and must be scalping wickets,” to which Teli replied: “I am grinding myself in the club. This is what I am here for.” Before both shared a laugh.
“When I came and warmed up everyone was watching around. I had butterflies in my stomach but the focus was to bowl as if I am playing a game against international stars,” the student of Nottingham University asserted.
On learning to lead:
Moreover, one of his brothers Bilal Ahmad Teli maintained he has worked extremely hard to play cricket and at times decided to quit cricket after being not picked for major competitions back home.
“This is the result of his passion and sheer hard work. Kudos! He has come a long way. At times, he was not selected and the time came he looked for different avenues,” he told.
“He has delivered goods in domestic tournaments. Even I was against him, but today he has made all of us proud. I used to tell him to focus on his studies don’t wander here and there. The credit for this achievement goes to his persistence despite setbacks. Being a net bowler for an elite team will boost his confidence,” said his father Abdul Ahad Teli.
Recently, after speedster Umran Malik’s brilliance in the cash-rich Indian Premier League (IPL) Jammu and Kashmir cricketers have become more enthusiastic to represent the erstwhile state at the highest level.