Perveez Rasool: Nine career-defining months... and a few firsts
Parveez Rasool is a peculiar case. No matter how his career eventually shapes, he will always make news.
The fact that he belongs to Jammu and Kashmir will ensure he grabs the headlines.
In fact, that is Rasool’s predicament. He has to live with it.
Friday offered a case in point. The 24-year-old’s selection to the Indian team for the upcoming tour of Zimbabwe made him the first player from his state to represent Team India.
Jammu and Kashmir did have a few players -- Abid Nabi, Abdul Qayoom and Surendra Singh -- being picked in a national-level squad in the past, but Rasool is the first to make the cut at the senior international level.
The management’s decision to rest Ravichandran Ashwin, in view of the fact that the national team is playing non-stop cricket, got Rasool the nod.
Image: Parveez Rasool
His performance in Ranji Trophy garnered him a lot of media attention
It was expected that the board would send a second string squad to Zimbabwe. The omissions, including that of captain MS Dhoni (rested), therefore, did not come as a surprise. The inclusions, though, at least one of them, did!
For Rasool, it marks the culmination of nine months of ascent, a period that has seen him achieve many first, thanks to his state of origin.
A good all-round show in the Ranji Trophy -- he was the top scorer (594 runs) as well as the highest wicket-taker (33 wickets) for Jammu and Kashmir -- helped him garner ample media attention. It also made him the first from his state to feature among the top in both categories.
He subsequently made it to the Board President’s XI that took on the visiting Australians in Chennai earlier this year. In the said match, the off-spinner had the visitors in all sorts of trouble, ending up with up seven wickets.
Image: Parveez Rasool
A perfect opportunity for Rasool to achieve many more firsts
His effort earned him appreciation from Indian spin legend B S Bedi and Australia batsman Ed Cowan. Besides, it earned him an IPL contract, another first for a J & K player.
Rasool appeared for Pune Warriors in the lucrative T20 competition. He played in just two matches, against Kolkata Knight Riders and Mumbai Indians, picking a wicket (Jacques Kallis) in the former. And, despite the limited appearances, he garnered enough attention, prompting many past and present cricketers to say he was good enough to don national colours.
The selectors’ decision to rest key players for the tour of Zimbabwe guaranteed just that.
That he will be part of the playing eleven in Virat Kohli’s side is given. It remains to be seen if Rasool can make the most of the opportunity, fulfill the expectations and achieve many more firsts.
Image: Fans root for Jammu and Kashmir players during an IPL match in Dharamsala in April this year