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'I am lucky to achieve this dream of playing for India'

Last updated on: July 06, 2013 20:40 IST

24-year-old off-spinner makes history

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Parveez Rasool's inclusion in India's squad for the tour of Zimbabwe has triggered a wave of jubilation across his village, near the south Kashmir town of Bejibehara, says Mukhtar Ahmad

Parveez Rasool Zargar made history when he was named in the Indian team for the tour Zimbabwe later this month.

It was a dream come true for the promising 24-year-old off-spinner from Jablipora village, near the south Kashmir town of Bejibehara, on the Srinagar-Jammu national highway.

He was playing cricket in the village playfield when he received the news about his inclusion in the 15-member squad for the one-day series.

“My brother was playing cricket with the local youth when the news reached him. The whole playground erupted with joy. Parveez then came back and everyone was jostling to shake hands and hug him,” Umar Rasool Zargar, Parveez's younger brother, told rediff.com

“Thereafter, a stream of people have been visiting our house and there is still no end to it,” he added.


Image: Parvez Rasool
Photographs: Umar Ganie

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'I knew Parveez will one day hit the jackpot'

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Parveez had an eventful year, displaying a lot of promise in the 2012-2013 Ranji Trophy, where he took 33 wickets and scored 594 runs.

His best, however, came against the visiting Aussies in February, when he was included in the India 'A' squad for a tour game. He finished the match with seven wickets.

He also appeared for Pune Warriors in the lucrative sixth season of the IPL. He played in just two matches, against Kolkata Knight Riders and Mumbai Indians, and picked a wicket (Jacques Kallis) in the former.

Despite the limited appearances, he garnered enough attention, prompting many past and present cricketers to say he was good enough to don national colours.

Parveez is second son Ghulam Rasool Zargar, a government employee in the state engineering department. 

“My joy knew no bounds as I heard about his inclusion in the team to play against Zimbabwe,” said the 56-year-old Zargar.

“My wife, Masooda Akhtar, hurriedly went inside the room to pray and thank the almighty Allah for her son’s success.

“I have always encouraged Parveez to play cricket and I knew he will one day hit the jackpot as I was a witness to his unflinching commitment to the game,” he added.

 


Image: Parvez Rasool
Photographs: Umar Ganie

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'It was my dream to play for Team India'

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Coming from a small village and humble origins, Parveez’s selection to the Indian team is not only a great success story but it has the potential of motivating sports lovers across the valley.

The first cricketer from Jammu and Kashmir to make the Indian squad had the good fortune of being tutored in the art of spin bowling by the legendary Bishen Singh Bedi when he was the coach of the state team.

“It was my dream to play for Team India. The cricket lovers of the state always wanted to see a player from Jammu and Kashmir to play for the team. I am lucky to achieve this dream,” Parveez told rediff.com.

Congratulating Parvez on his selection, State chief minister Omar Abdullah called upon him to make the state proud.

“Have heard the great news about Parveez Rasool being selected to play for India against Zimbabwe. Well-deserved selection. Make us proud," he said.

“It is historic and moral-boosting for cricketers of the state. I congratulate him for his achievement. He has worked hard for this and also proved his mettle with the chances that came into his way so far,” said Dr Farooq Abdullah, president Jammu and Kashmircricket association.


Image: Parvez Rasool
Photographs: Umar Ganie

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Rasool's inclusion triggers wave of jubilation

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Parveez’s home town is famous for manufacturing cricket bats and the local people associated with the industry say his inclusion will give a fillip to their business.

“We hope this development will boost our business as more and more youth of the area look upon him as an icon,” said Mohammad Ashraf Bhat, who has a manufacturing unit in Bejibehara.

“He is our icon and has now become an icon of whole state. We are hopeful that he will shine at international level," he added.


Image: Parveez Rasool with his mother
Photographs: Umar Ganie

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