Rasool Is First Kashmiri In National Cricket Squad

Rasool Is First Kashmiri In National Cricket Squad

5 July 2013
The Indian Express
Mir Ehsan

Srinagar: On Friday afternoon, Parvez Rasool was playing cricket with his friends at a local school playground when he received news that he had become the first cricketer from Kashmir to be selected to play for India. Within minutes, news of Rasool's selection for the ODI tour of Zimbabwe spread through Bijbehara town and neighbouring villages in south Kashmir. People thronged the playground where Rasool was playing. Rasool thanked his mentor Abdul Qayoom Bugoo, who broke the news to him, and Jammu and Kashmir Ranji Trophy coach Bishen Singh Bedi for helping him become a better cricketer. 'Apart from these two coaches, I am also thankful to my parents who always encouraged me to play cricket,' he said. Rasool, an off-spinning all-rounder, has enjoyed a splendid domestic season, scoring 594 runs at an average of 54.00 and taking 33 wickets at 18.09. Playing for the Board President's XI in Chennai, he had a seven-wicket haul against the Australians. But the journey so far has not been easy. In 2009, he was detained by Bangalore Police after his kitbag allegedly showed traces of explosives, before he was let off without any charges being levelled. Rasool said his selection would also open the door for other cricketers from Jammu and Kashmir. 'We have a lot of talent available in the state. My selection will encourage our young talent,' he said. J&K fast bowler Abid Nabi, who played for India U-19 a few years ago, echoed these sentiments. 'Talent-wise we are not far from anybody. Facilities-wise we might not be so good compared to metropolitan cities but we have the belief that one day we will be there,' he said. 'One of our boys will play for India and we will cheer for him while watching TV. Jammu & Kashmir now has something to cheer,' Nabi said. Chief Minister Omar Abdullah also celebrated the selection. 'Have heard the great news about Parvez Rasool being selected to play for India against Zimbabwe. Well deserved selection. Make us proud now,' Abdullah tweeted.