New Delhi, Jan. 3 -- Three years ago, the nation was shocked and red alert sounded at many places following news of suspected presence of explosives at Bangalore's Chinnaswamy Stadium ahead of an IPL match. Not many would know that one of the men suspected for being anti-national and detained for questioning, will now don national colours on the cricket field.
Pervez Rassol, the U-22 J&K player who was arrested then, has been picked for the India A team that plays a warm-up against England at the Capital's Palam grounds on Sunday. His performance in Ranji Trophy, with 594 runs and 33 wickets, has catapulted him into national reckoning.
"Looking back, I think it (the detention) could have happened to anyone of our guys considering the situation then. I have no complaints but it has made me mentally very strong," Rassol told HT.
In that U-22 game against Karnataka later, Rassol made 70 and was cleared after forensic tests.
"That period was very hard. Worse, people blew the issue out of proportion (almost making him feel like a terrorist)," he says. Earlier this season, he was caught in a rebellion triggered by Kashmiri players who revolted after complaining that coach Bishan Singh Bedi had leanings towards players from Jammu.
"The poor chap was locked up in a room by some others (rebel seniors). He missed a match in Guwahati for no fault of his," says Bedi, who has high regard for the player.
"Yeh lambi race ka ghoda hai (he is one for the future). He's a very talented kid. Though it is just a warm-up game, it is a good break for him."
Credit to Bedi
Rassol too credits his success to Bedi. "Initially, I was a batsman who could bowl part-time off-breaks, but it was at his insistence that I began to concentrate more on developing my bowling skills. He (Bedi) would make me bowl for three hours in the nets. He taught me how to use variations in the flight and how to use the loop effectively."
Published by HT Syndication with permission from Hindustan Times.