Srinagar: Three local cricket teams, which performed well in the Kashmir Premier League (KPL), left for Kolkata to take part in a tournament being organised by the Army as part of a National-Integration-cum-Sports-Tour.

Minister for Youth Services and Sports R S Chib sent off the players of the three teams including 'Sher-e-Dil', 'Kashmir University' and 'Shah-e-Jahan' at a function here on Monday, an official spokesman said today.

The touring Kashmir Premier League teams will play five matches each in Kolkata and Chennai, General Officer Commanding (GOC) of Srinagar-based 15 Corps Lt Gen S A Hasnain said.

He said with a view to boost the morale of the teams, both Minister for Sports and he himself are expected to attend the tournament to be played between Kashmiri boys and Kolkata boys at Kolkata.

"This tour of the teams is a part of National Integration cum Sport tour to Kolkata and Chennai under Army's Sadbhavna Programme of the army," he said.

Chib appreciated the role of Army for taking keen interest in organising various sports tournaments and playing the role of a catalyst to advance sports activities in the state.

The Minister said Kolkata tour for these cricketers has been organised with an aim to involve the youth of Jammu and Kashmir in national level sports events.

He said two decades of turbulence caused big loss to sports infrastructure which is being reconstructed by the coalition government.

"The department is expanding latest sports infrastructure in the state by constructing stadia in nook and corner with focus on encouraging rural sports," the minister said adding sports is a best medium to channelise energies of youth in a right perspective besides saving them from being caught in the web of social evils.

Chib lauded the Army for making high profile Kashmir Premier League tournaments possible.

(Agencies)