Why this hullabaloo about Parvez Rasool?

Parvez Ghulam Rasool Zargar, to give his full name, is a decent offspinner and handy batsman to be considered a bowling all-rounder. It is immaterial whether he came from Kashmir or Kerala, he will play for India if he is good enough to earn his cap. A cap can't be handed out for sentimental reasons.

Parvez not being handed his India cap on the Zimbabwe tour of one-dayers, which ended Saturday, has unnecessarily become the talking point, thanks to his state Chief Minister Omar Abdullah going to town criticising his non-selection even when his father Farooq Abdullah, who is the president of the Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association, did not react so vehemently.

When has Omar Abdullah started taking such keen interest in cricket and what is this specious argument that if 14 players got to play why not the 15th.

If only he had shown the same alacrity in unravelling the mystery of over Rs.50 crores vanishing from the books of the Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association, the state's cricketers like Parvez would have benefited more.

His pleading tweets, "Come on BCCI give the young man a chance to prove himself", and "Did you have to take him all the way to Zim to demoralise him? Wouldn't it have been cheaper to do it at home?" may have given him politically a kick, but it is in poor taste, unless he wants to take credit for the young man's exploits on cricket field.

Omar should have also taken to task some people in the valley who make no secret of their dislike of Parvez playing for India and their statements that they would support their cricketer but not India. Worse, they said they would not even support the lad from Bijbehara, a small town in Anantnag district, if he plays a key role in India beating Pakistan! Not to be left behind, Union Minister Shashi Tharoor joined with his percussion: "Bizarre selection. Could easily have rested Jadeja & Raina for Rasool & Rahane," he tweeted. "What's the point leading 4-0 if you can't give every member of the touring team a chance to play at least once now by reshuffling the deck?"

Not taking away their right to express their views, do they at least concede that the national selectors, coach and captain are competent enough to pick the squad and the playing eleven? Whatever may be their compulsions, political or otherwise, they have trod a dangerous path, though they are not the pioneers of the indiscretion. There have been instances where politicians jumped in to back players from their states and luckily they confined themselves to making only puerile statements.

What is more bizarre in this case is that captain Virat Kohli chose to defend the selection when there was no need for him to do so and saying that he was not bothered by the criticism.

Kohli tried to justify Parvez sitting out, saying Amit Mishra was cooling his heels for the last two months and he had to be played and that the Kashmiri young man will get his opportunity when he goes with the India A team to South Africa from Zimbabwe.

Surely, Parvez himself may not be complaining too much about not getting to play in Zimbabwe since he did not fit into Kohli's scheme of things. Coming back to Omar's concern for Parvez, he and his father should have taken interest in cleaning up the state's cricket administration instead of acquiescing in carrying out the obnoxious quota system whereby the valley and Jammu get equal representation in the state's Ranji Trophy squad.

And then if Omar is so fond of Parvez, he should have given the 24-year-old a job in the state government, though he may not need one if he has a long run as an international cricketer. What is so special about Parvez? The list of people who waited for the India cap despite their enormous talent is long. Why go far, his own teammate Ambati Rayudu, who was hailed as the closest to Sachin Tendulkar in class when he was first spotted a decade ago, made his international debut in the fourth one-dayer at 27, though for no fault of his.

For the record, Rasool made his first-class debut for J&K in 2008-09 and has played 17 first-class matches, scoring 1,003 runs and taking 46 wickets. Playing against Australia for India A he took seven wickets for 41. He also played for Pune Warriors last season.

(Veturi Srivatsa is the sports editor of IANS. The views expressed are personal. He can be contacted at v.srivatsa@ians.in)

Matches

MORE TOP STORIES TODAY

On Now: Chennai vs Punjab

On Now: Chennai vs Punjab

Chennai off to a flier after Dhoni elects to bat at Abu Dhabi. More »

Evenly matched Rajasthan and Hyderabad face-off

Evenly matched Rajasthan and Hyderabad face-off

A quality that defines Rajasthan and Hyderabad is consistency. Rajasthan was one among two teams to enjoy complete dominance at home last season. Hyderabad… More »

Beleaguered Yuvraj tees off to Sharjah's delight

Beleaguered Yuvraj tees off to Sharjah's delight

Yuvraj Singh was hardly convincing to begin with against Delhi, but a big dose of crowd support and a helping of poor bowling meant he had the opportunity… More »

Trott to take 'immediate break' from cricket

Trott to take 'immediate break' from cricket

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Friday confirmed that batsman Jonathan Trott is to take another break from all cricket with immediate eff… More »

Fiery star Stokes bids to curb his temper

Fiery star Stokes bids to curb his temper

England all-rounder Ben Stokes admits he must keep his anger under control if he is to end his international exile. More »

Bangalore's arsenal blazes to victory

Bangalore's arsenal blazes to victory

Yuvraj Singh was back to his best in his first match for Royal Challengers Bangalore. More »

Pakistan cricketers face probe

Pakistan cricketers face probe

Pakistani cricket authorities have launched an investigation after a number of current international stars played in exhibition matches in the United States… More »

BCCI to meet before next court hearing

BCCI to meet before next court hearing

The BCCI will hold an emergent working committee meeting on April 20 to discuss the future course of action with regard to the Supreme Court hearing concerning… More »

Gavaskar wants a clean IPL

Gavaskar wants a clean IPL

"Integrity is non-negotiable..." says the BCCI's interim chief ahead of Season 7 of the tainted league. More »

Kallis, Narine star in KKR win

Kallis, Narine star in KKR win

An all-round display saw Knight Riders thump Mumbai Indians by 41 runs in the IPL-7 opener. More »

'Yak' Kallis still on top of his game

'Yak' Kallis still on top of his game

The 38-year-old South African veteran turned it on for Kolkata Knight RIders in the opening match of IPL-7. More »

Time for Chennai to enter familiar cocoon

Time for Chennai to enter familiar cocoon

Chennai have an emphatic 8-3 lead in the head-to-head with Punjab, with one game tied More »

Srinivasan named in fixing report: SC

Srinivasan named in fixing report: SC

The court emphasised that the tainted administrator can no longer work for the BCCI. More »

Yuvraj happy to play for RCB: Kohli

Yuvraj happy to play for RCB: Kohli

New-look RCB will play their first game of IPL-7 on Thursday. More »

IPL: News Line

IPL: News Line

A round-up of all the news from this season of the IPL. More »

Shane Watson issues moral warning

Shane Watson issues moral warning

'Everyone knows what is right and what is wrong and if you do the wrong thing it will be found out' More »

Why I'm not looking forward to the IPL

Why I'm not looking forward to the IPL

Welcome to another season of a league that many watch but few trust. More »

Johnson may quit T20s for Tests

Johnson may quit T20s for Tests

Australia's Mitchell Johnson may quit limited-overs cricket to prolong his test career with an eye on the 2015 Ashes series in England, the fast bowler… More »

Nepal players call off boycott

Nepal players call off boycott

Thaw in relations after formation of an advisory committee that would work in tandem with the Cricket Association of Nepal. More »

There's a lot going on: Fleming

There's a lot going on: Fleming

He experienced anxious moments in the lead-up to the tournament as the courts decided on whether to suspend the franchise, he said, but stressed that the… More »

Latif couldn’t work with tainted players

Latif couldn’t work with tainted players

Former Pakistan cricket captain Rashid Latif said Tuesday he turned down the job of national chief selector because he could not work with ex-players tainted… More »

We are not over-confident: Bailey

We are not over-confident: Bailey

Indian Premier League — George Bailey-led Kings XI Punjab will face Chennai Super Kings on Friday. More »

Taxing issue — BCCI hits roadblock

Taxing issue — BCCI hits roadblock

MoU between BCCI & its units to avoid double taxation delayed after a few decline to share details. More »

Big runs expected, with bat and ball

Big runs expected, with bat and ball

Royal Challengers Bangalore: Their main concern, once again, is the fast bowling More »