Surrounded by gloom and flood waters, it has been a battle against the odds for the Rasool family as Bijbehara, 48km from Srinagar, has been submerged for about two weeks. A lot has been lost in the surging waters of the Jhelum but Parvez Rasool, the first cricketer from Jammu and Kashmir to play for India, managed to save a prized possession, his cricket bat.
“I had shifted my cricket kit to the third floor, but then realised I had left the bat in the car boot. The water was rising and I had to jump into it to extricate it.
My mother tried to stop me, but I jumped. I’ve played Ranji Trophy matches with the bat and scored about 650 runs last year,” Rasool told HT on Monday.
“We could only watch from the second floor as cars, animals got washed away in the flood waters. The last 10 days have been horrifying, we were cut off from the world.
No TV, phone or radio nor news of relatives or friends. Wherever you look, its water everywhere,” said Rasool.
“We have a three-storey house and the first floor got submerged on the first day itself,” said Rasool, who made his ODI debut against Bangladesh in June. “We had to shift to the second floor and as the water rose, my family had to shift to my uncle’s house situated atop a hill.
“The flood waters have damaged some 94 houses in the area we live and some 50-60 people are still staying in a room in order to be safe. My family has not faced such problems but we are still trying to contact our relatives,” said Rasool.
Since Bijbehara doesn’t have turf pitches, Rasool practices at a nearby school, which has a small net. Now that the school is submerged, it is out of bounds.
“The Ranji season is around the corner. One cannot practice here so I’m planning to move to Delhi or another place to practice before the Ranji camp,” he said.