Amir Hussain Lone, 26, captain of the state para-cricket team from Indian Occupied Kashmir Valley uses his feet to bowl and is able to bat by holding it between his neck and shoulder. Hussain Lone was just eight years old when he was involved in an accident in his father’s sawmill, which in the cruelest of ironies, made cricket bats (watch below).
Most people in his condition would have cursed God for not giving them health or wealth. However, Lone due to his trust in Allah and support from his family became an inspiration to many handicapped people around the world.
“After the accident, people told my father that I will become a burden on him. I thought, no, I will not let that happen and decided to fight,” says Amir.
While he adopted his swimming style by imitating a duck, Amir practised to hold the bat between his chin and shoulder to hit the ball. Using the same two toes — the big toe and second toe – of his right foot with which he eats, writes and shaves, Amir delivers his in and out-swings. He, in fact, fares much better than many of his four-limbed peers.
“First I thought that he will have to be provided a lot of help, because, without arms, he won’t be able to do anything. But then he started to do everything by himself using his feet. And it was his amazing capacity to adapt and learn things without his arms,” said his father, Bashir Ahmad Lone, who remembered how some people advised him to abandon the boy.
“Immediately after the accident, people told me that he is of no use and that I should get rid of him. But I backed him all through this and even sold my agricultural land for his treatment,” said Bashir.
While Amir’s father struggled financially, Amir himself was trying to cope at school. A class 3 student at the time of the accident, he recalls how his teacher told him to go home. The general attitude of people towards him made Amir even more determined to do well in life.
Many Muslim cricketers brought honors to India – before and after 1947 partition (here). However, only two were allowed to captain India’s international teams; Nawab Iftikhar Ali Khan (Tiger) Pataudi (died 1952), and his son Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi (died 2011). Mansoor Ali married to Bollywood top Hindu actress Sharmila Tagore (Ayesha Sultana) who converted to Islam in 1969 (she is related to Bengali Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore on her mother-side). Pataudi’s son Saif Ali Khan is also a Bollywood popular actor who married one of top Hindu actresses Kareena Kapoor in 2012.