What’s the story?
Annoyed with the rampant corruption within the state association and the lack of facilities in the valley, Indian off-spinner Parvez Rasool is considering leaving Jammu & Kashmir for another state team.
Rasool lamented, “Yes, I am the pride of Jammu & Kashmir. Youngsters get inspired from me. But things have not improved over the years. A player has a time span of three to four years which can be termed as a make-or-break period. I am in national reckoning. If things don't change, I may have to think about other options like playing for a different state.”
The 28-year old elaborated, “We lack facilities. We just have two wickets in entire Jammu & Kashmir — one in Jammu and another in Kashmir 300 kilometres apart. Players will obviously suffer. When I was included in Team India, I thought our problems will be over. But nothing has changed. Non-cricketers are ruling the (state) association without any knowledge of the game. We have huge potential but our problems not helping the situation.“
Known as the face of Jammu & Kashmir cricket, Rasool is the first cricketer from the valley to represent India. After making his international debut in an ODI against Bangladesh in 2014, he had to wait for more than two years before receiving his next opportunity. The all-rounder played his maiden T20I against England at Kanpur earlier this year.
The heart of the matter
A path-breaker in every sense, Rasool has had to face numerous hurdles on his way to the international arena. Amidst inadequate facilities in the state, he kept working on his game and managed to catch the selectors’ attention by putting in consistent performances in the Ranji Trophy.
More recently, the Chairman-elect of the Jammu & Kashmir Cricket Association (JKCA) urged the BCCI to 'directly interfere' in their affairs. Embroiled in an INR 40 crore corruption scandal, the association is threatening to split into different factions under the likes of former Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah and Sports Minister Imran Raza Ansari.
In this regard, Rasool appealed to the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators to look into the problems surrounding Jammu & Kashmir cricket.
Earlier in the day, Jammu & Kashmir ended their dismal campaign in the 2017 Vijay Hazare Trophy. From 6 games, they won only once and hence found themselves at the bottom of Group D. As for Rasool, he will not take part in the upcoming IPL season after going unsold in the recently completed auction.
As evidenced by his ability to overcome numerous hurdles and subsequent call-up to the Indian team, Rasool is a flag-bearer of cricket in Jammu & Kashmir. The right-hander’s rise to the top has inspired several youngsters in the valley to take up cricket.
It’s highly unfortunate that the relevant administrators at JKCA are entangled in various issues instead of focusing their energy on guiding promising players from the region.