Parveez Rasool has become the first cricketer from J&K to be picked for a senior India squad. The 24-year-old all-rounder is among the 15 named to tour Zimbabwe beginning July 24.
“It’s every cricketer’s dream to play for India and my dream has come true,” Rasool told HT in Srinagar. “I had a good domestic season. I got 33 wickets and scored 594 runs in seven matches. Besides I got seven wickets for India A in a match against Australia,” he said.
Rasool is the fourth cricketer from J&K after Abid Nabi, Surendra Singh and Abdul Qayoom to be picked for a national squad. The other three, however, couldn’t make it to the senior team.
In February, HT had reported on how the government was pushing Rasool’s case in India team to win hearts in J&K.
HT had quoted a source saying that the government had conveyed its desire to the BCCI.
After losing to Pakistan in the ODI series last December, skipper MS Dhoni had rued the absence of a fast-bowling all-rounder.
Obviously, Dhoni’s words must not have reached the selectors. They have now given him a third spin-bowling allrounder now that they already have Ravindra Jadeja and R Ashwin.
Towards the end of the last first-class season, medium-pace bowling allrounder Rishi Dhawan had emerged as a name Dhoni had been looking for. The 23-year-old all-rounder from Himachal Pradesh had scored 550 runs at an average of over 55 and got 41 wickets.
However, when the chance to try Dhawan out in a relatively easy series in Zimbabwe came along, selectors went ahead with Rasool. His performance in first-class cricket this season puts him below Dhawan on the list of top allrounders. Like Dhawan, he too plays in the plate division, the lower tier of India’s domestic league where competition is pretty ordinary. Rasool has 594 runs at an average of 54 and has taken 33 wickets.
In 2009, Rasool had been picked up by the police for allegedly having traces of explosives in his kit-bag. He was interrogated for 10 hours and was later cleared following forensic tests.