Omar Abdullah has every right to be surprised, sad and even sombre after a player from his state -- Parvez Rasool -- did not make it to the India playing XI in any of the five one-day internationals against Zimbabwe last week.
After all, it would have been a matter of pride for all Kashmiris to see a player from their area represent India.
Since we live in the age of social media which is getting stronger with every famous tweet, Abdullah’s first tweet over being disappointed was near-harmless.
What stirred the proverbial hornet’s nest was when he said, “Did you really have to take him all the way to Zimbabwe to demoralise him? Wouldn’t it have been cheaper to just do it at home?” That was a rather uneducated remark because you don’t take players on tour to crush their confidence and cricketers don’t get picked to make up the numbers.
Doubtless, the team management may have had their reasons for not blooding Rasool, however inexplicable it appears to cricket followers.
On one hand, the selectors pick a touring squad in the belief that each of the 15 is capable of playing for India. On the other hand, the captain and coach may not believe in handing out caps unless it helps the team in totality and that thinking must be respected.
Wonder whether Abdullah realises that his Twitter outburst is not only well directed (he has slammed the BCCI instead of the team management), it is also damaging to Rasool because he will now be under immense pressure to deliver when his chance comes. How well he can cope now will be the key.
In the midst of controversy, we must not forget the wonderful work put in by a young Indian team to win 5-0. The whitewash may have been achieved against a weak Zimbabwean outfit, but at least the side’s performance is in stark contrast to the BCCI.