Story of Mumtaz Khan: Mother sells vegetables on a handcart, daughter shines in Junior Hockey World Cup

Story of Mumtaz Khan: On the side of the road in Lucknow’s Artillery Bazar, Kaiser was standing in the scorching sun with vegetables on a handcart. Before Friday prayers, there was a huge crowd around her handcart. Around the same time, her daughter Mumtaz was on her way to another stellar performance at the Junior Hockey World Cup at the University Ground in Potchefstroom, South Africa. While chucking the goalkeeper of South Korea, Mumtaz had put the ball in the goalpost. Thanks to this goal from Mumtaz, Team India defeated South Korea 3-0 in the quarterfinals and stormed into the semi-finals.

Also read: Shocking! Women hockey star Vandana Katariya’s family faces caste slurs, abuses after Indian team lost in the semi-finals!

This is the second time that the Indian team has reached the last four of the Junior Women’s World Cup. Mumtaz is the third-highest goalscorer of the tournament with six goals so far. Apart from India’s opening match against Wales, Mumtaz scored the winning goal against Germany, considered the tournament’s favourite, and scored a brilliant hat-trick against Malaysia.

On Friday, when Mumtaz’s mother was working outside, Mumtaz’s five sisters were watching a match on their mobiles at their home in Lucknow. At that time, Mumtaz’s father Hafiz had gone to the mosque. Mumtaz’s elder sister Farah says, “It is difficult to describe how we are feeling today. There were days when we had nothing…when some people used to taunt my parents for allowing a girl to play.” Kaiser Jahan says, “We ignored their words, but today, it seems that Mumtaz has given a befitting reply to all of them.”

The story of Mumtaz and her playing hockey is also interesting. In 2013, Mumtaz went to Agra with her school athletics team for a competition where Mumtaz topped, following which a local coach suggested Mumtaz to start playing hockey. Mumtaz’s childhood coach Neelam Siddiqui said, “Mumtaz had the speed and energy that we thought would come in handy in hockey. We felt that if she understands the game of hockey well, she can become a very good player.”

Siddiqui told that Mumtaz was barely 13 years old and till then she had played only a few times for her school team. We put her in a match with some senior players to see how she performs. She was very fearless and she stunned the players.” Siddiqui further said that these were the moments when Mumtaz started dreaming of playing for India.

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