Kashmiris keenly following their homegrown cricketing icon | india | Hindustan Times
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Kashmiris keenly following their homegrown cricketing icon

On Sunday when the entire nation was hooked on to the last one day international match, part of a three match series, between Indian and Pakistan at Feroz Shah Kotla stadium in Delhi, Kashmiris were keen to know what transpired at the nets before the game had even started.

india Updated: Jan 07, 2013 22:16 IST
Peerzada Ashiq

On Sunday when the entire nation was hooked on to the last one day international match, part of a three match series, between Indian and Pakistan at Feroz Shah Kotla stadium in Delhi, Kashmiris were keen to know what transpired at the nets before the game had even started.


The reason was 23-year-old all-rounder Pervez Rasool: the first Muslim from south Kashmir's small town Bijebehara to be selected for India-A team and who had been bowling at the likes of M.S Dhoni, Yuvraj Singh and Virat Kohli before the big match since Saturday.

He has been selected to the India-A team in view of his performance during the Ranji Trophy.

"Thanks to Allah! I was summoned by the Indian team management to bowl to the likes of captain MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli at the nets," wrote Rasool on his fan page on Facebook.

Rasool's performance has come at a time when the Jammu and Kashmir team has been mired in controversy over the selection of players. The senior players even boycotted the Ranji Trophy matches.

Ever since Rasool has made it to the big league, nearly 7,500 fans have logged in to Rasool's fan page to wish him success.

Thousands of fans liked Rasool's Facebook updates regarding his net sessions with the cricketing stars; comments poured in by the hundreds.

"It was a great experience. I bowled at almost all the star players of the Indian team. It was an out of the world experience. Dhoni was always there to hand out useful tips. He told me that I can bowl around the wicket to Raina and I think that helped a lot," an ebullient Rasool wrote on Facebook.

A die-hard Sachin Tendulkar fan, Rasool was detained mistakenly at Bangalore in October 2009 when a faulty metal detector hinted at traces of explosives in his kit. Having lest the bitter memories behind him, the cricketer is fast emerging as a sports icon for thousands of game lovers in the Valley.

Rasool played his first important game as part of India-A against England squad on Sunday.

"Ian Bell was at the crease when I was pressed in and I didn't give him much to score. Though I did not get a chance to show my talent with the bat. While fielding, I effected the run-out of James Tredwell," Rasool informed his fans.

Rasool's selection to India-A squad has ended a long nurtured grudge of the Valley people, who felt left out when it came to selections to the big leagues in the game of cricket.