Kashmir awaits ODI debut for Parvez Rasool on Zimbabwe tour

Recently, Rasool became the first cricketer from troubled Jammu and Kashmir to be in the Indian team. Virat Kohli’s team leads the five-match series 2-0 and there is a possibility of Rasool making his debut soon. The third game of the Celkon Cup will be in Harare today.

Parvez Rasool and (inset) Showket Ahmed
Parvez Rasool and (inset) Showket Ahmed

The off-spinner has not just won hearts of the people from the scenic valley, but also of Showket Ahmed Bakshi, a senior leader of the Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front.

Bakshi was one on the 12 accused for digging up a part of the pitch at the Sher-e-Kashmir cricket stadium in Srinagar during the lunch break of an India and West Indies ODI on October 13, 1983.

Bakshi , who faced court trail for 28 years, was acquitted in 2011. Despite the incident, the West Indies went on to win the first international match played in Kashmir.

“Is Parvez going to get a chance to play in any match?” Bakshi asked. “I want to see Parvez as a successful Kashmiri youth. I don’t understand the game of cricket, but he has reached to this level because of his talent. My blessings are with him. I wish he progresses,” said Bakshi.

The 1983 match was viewed as strengthening New Delhi’s hold over Kashmir. ¬†Reflecting on the 30-year-old match, Bakshi said: “We didn’t stop the match.

We wanted to send a message to the government that you can’t play an international match on disputed land and we were successful in doing so.”

In 1986, the same stadium hosted the only other one-day international match in Kashmir — between India and Australia which the hosts lost by three

Meanwhile, Rasool’s family is also eagerly awaiting his international debut. “There was a lot of excitement when Rasool played in the IPL-VI (for Pune Warriors India).

A lot of people gathered on the streets to watch him play on TV. We are hopeful of him getting the India cap soon. He’s an inspiration for Kashmiri youths,” said elder brother Asif.¬†

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