Not only did the Qalandars stage their recent T20 cup in Muzaffarabad, but they also gave the locals a chance in their talent hunt — a twin feat that has made them very popular in the region.
To reciprocate, Bahadurabad — a village some 100km away from Muzaffarabad city — has decided to rename itself; with its adopted moniker now being Rana Fawad.
The decision was taken by old Bahadurabad’s chieftain Rana Naseer Ahmed, who also represents the said village in the AJK assembly.
“We love the way Rana Fawad has owned the people of Kashmir and given our players an opportunity to represent Kashmir in Pakistan,” Ahmed told. “The people of the village saw how LQ and Rana Fawad are giving opportunity to the people of Kashmir so we [showed our gratitude].”
Explaining his village’s name change, Naseer added that he has already given the suggestion to the speaker of the assembly. “It will soon be approved as each and every person of the village is in favour of renaming the village in honour of Rana Fawad,” he said.
Fawad, in Naseer’s opinion, has reinvigorated the Muzaffarabad Cricket Stadium, which had fallen into a state of disrepair following the devastating 2007 earthquake. “After the quake, the whole ground was deserted and the buildings had collapsed,” he recalled. “No one used to visit this stadium but having a match here with teams from all over Pakistan has given it a new lease of life and also to the youth of this city.”