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HindustanTimes Mon,01 Sep 2014

A debut that never came

Toufiq Rashid, Hindustan Times  Srinagar, August 04, 2013
First Published: 12:49 IST(4/8/2013) | Last Updated: 12:50 IST(4/8/2013)

Kashmir's only hope of seeing their player making a dream debut in cricket ended in Bulawayo on Saturday, as the all-rounder Parvez Rasool missed out the fifth and the last one-day as well.

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Rasool was the only player in the squad, who did not get to play a single game in Zimbabwe.

Team India led by Virat Kohli came in with two changes on Saturday. Ajinkya Rahane and Shikhar Dhawan were included in the squad in place of Ambati Rayudu and Rohit Sharma.

The move surprised many, including Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah, as Rasool did not get an opportunity even in the last match despite having a 4-0 lead in the series.

Omar Abdullah on Saturday lashed out at the BCCI for not fielding Rasool in any of the five ODI games.

"Did you really have to take him all the way to Zimbabwe to demoralise him? Wouldn't it have been cheaper to just do it at home?" Omar said in a tweet after final 11 players for the last game were announced.

Disappointed at Rasool's non-inclusion in the playing 11 of Indian cricket team in the ongoing Zimbabwe tour, Omar on Friday had urged the BCCI to give him a chance to prove himself.

"Come on BCCI give the young man (Rasool) a chance to prove himself," Omar wrote on his twitter page on Friday.

Even Rasool was hopeful of a chance. In reply to a message from Hindustan Times, Rasool had said: "Am hopeful, inshallah".

Rasool, whose entry into the squad had raised many expectations in the valley, will have to wait for his international debut.

Kashmir is a place of avid cricket lovers and the decision has raised several questions.
Once India clinched the series, Indian skipper Virat Kohli was expected to give all bench players a chance.

While many players like Mohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara got a chance Rasool was conspicuous by his absence.

"It is really unfortunate. All of us are surprised that the team management did not give him a chance in spite of a 4-0 lead. If he doesn't get a chance now when will he?'' Saleem Khan, member of cricket association in Kashmir said.

"They should have not taken him. It is humiliating and also a major setback for all budding cricketers in the valley,'' he added.

Rasool, 24, stood a strong chance of playing for the country after a string of impressive performances and was selected after the selectors preferred to go in with a young team for the ongoing series.

Rasool had shot to limelight with a seven-wicket haul against the visiting Australians, while playing for the Board President's XI earlier this year. He was the only player from the valley to get an IPL contract.


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