Cricketer in the making: Teenager born without legs wants to represent country

Inspirational 18-year-old living up to ‘never give up’ attitude.

Khan raises a trophy he won for his performance in a local cricket match. PHOTOS: SHAZIA MEHBOOB/EXPRESS

MANSEHRA/ RAWALPINDI: Zulfiqar Khan, 18, is an inspiration to all. Born without legs, Khan, one of eight siblings, has never let his physical disability come in the way of his ambitions and living a full life. He wishes to become a medical doctor and also represent the country in the field of cricket. If his ambitions seem out of reach, watching him on the field can instantly change minds.

Like any other teenager, Khan enjoys playing cricket with his friends. He can handle the bat as well as any of his friends and bowls with zippy pace. The 18-year-old is from a remote village in Mansehra District, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P). The area is hilly, but that does not stop Khan from performing day-to-day activities. He works in the fields just like other men in the area. The teenager exercises regularly to stay fit and is way stronger than what his looks might suggest.  He wants others facing physical disabilities to never give up.

Khan raises a trophy he won for his performance in a local cricket match. PHOTOS: SHAZIA MEHBOOB/EXPRESS

Khan studies in Grade 9 at a public school. He participates actively in both curricular and extracurricular activities at school.

Khan’s parents are proud of their son. His mother, Chan Shifada Bibi loves Khan for being a good cricket, a punctual student and a responsible son.

The teenager’s dream is to represent Pakistan internationally as an all-rounder, but the lack of a cricket academy in the area is hurdle.

He says, cricket is his passion and he cannot live without the game, adding that his favorite player is Shahid Afridi.

Khan says that his teachers have always encouraged him, and ask his classmates to draw inspiration from him. “Khan is blessed and very talented,” one of his teachers said.

“I would not call Khan a special person with a disability, I would call him a person with extraordinary specialties,” Umar Farooq, a local social worker said.

He also urged the civil society to come forward as support self-motivated individuals such as Khan.

Farooq also called upon Imran Khan and the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)-led provincial government to establish institutions to support special persons.

Khan’s mother says that from a very young age they made sure that he was not dependent on anyone.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 13th, 2015. 


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