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The Triumphant Trio

By Aleem Faizee



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He belongs to a family which has given many leading and talented Shooting Volleyball and Kabaddi players the two most popular sports in Malegaon along with Basketball before Cricket ultimately dominated all other sports everywhere in India. His grandfather, Ab Majeed, was once very popular for his shooting volleyball gaming talent. His uncle Shabbir played six National Level Open Tournaments and his other uncle Shakeel and cousin Mubashhir played five such Open Tournaments. They were part of the HAL team that represented Nashik district while playing these tournaments and reached to semi final levels many times.


"In the second National School Games Shooting Ball Championship Maharashtra overpowered Karnataka in the finals and the National Champion. Malegaon shared the honor with Sholapur by contributing with three players representing the state."

It was this legacy of his family which Zubair Ansari carried along with him when he ultimately appeared for the National Level Shooting Ball Championship at Shirud representing Maharashtra along with Zahid Akhter and Ziya Nisar, whose uncle Ayyub Ansari also being a prominent player of the game, from Malegaon. And eventually when they turned victor and became National Champions, it was as if, the dream which his grandfather must had seen even before his birth came true.


The final match was played on April 23, a day before the scheduled date. The day will be remembered in the history of Malegaon for years to come when its three great sons represented Maharashtra in the finals and won the under 19 National School Games Shooting Ball Championship against Karnataka. Malegaon shared the honor with Sholapur which also contributed with three players to represent the state. The championship was held at New English School Ground, Shirud in Pune during April 22 and April 24 2007.   


It was the second National Level Shooting Ball Championship and fourteen states were invited but only five states - Maharashtra, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi and Karnataka finally turned up for this National Level competition. Jammu & Kashmir was not fortunate enough to play the games since they arrived after the lots were drawn for the matches on 20th April.


Earlier Maharashtra defeated the four competing states in the league matches, defeated the defending champion Punjab in Semi Finals and finally overpowered Karnataka in the finals. During the journey towards this phenomenal victory they created yet another history when Maharashtra became the National Champs without loosing a single match in the whole tournament.


What a better gift one could have expected from these young champs than making Maharashtra a National Champion at a time when we were gearing up to celebrate the Maharashtra Day on May 1.



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