Considered a symbol of hope for sport in Jammu and Kashmir, Parveez Rasool is an inspiring story from a picturesque valley and one that goes beyond the realm of sport.
By becoming the first cricketer from Jammu and Kashmir to earn an India call-up, Rasool has highlighted the fact that there is abundance of talent that exists in the deep interiors.
The 24-year-old Rasool was today named in the Indian team for the upcoming ODI tour of Zimbabwe.
Rasool said it was "just the beginning" and he has a long way to go. "After proving the faith of all the cricket fans from the state, I hope I can do the same for the entire nation," said Rasool.
He hails from Beijbehara, a small town in Kashmir, which is hardly a speck on the country's cricketing map. If not poor, facilities for playing the game are modest at best.
The political turmoil in the valley only makes it more difficult for the talented cricketers to make it big.
But Rasool has been a one of a kind. A man of many firsts, Rasool has been in contention for national selection for a while now after a string of impressive performances at first-class level.
Rasool was the standout performer for Jammu & Kashmir in the 2012-13 Ranji Trophy, ending the season as its top scorer and highest wicket-taker.
In his seven Ranji matches, Rasool scored 594 runs at 54 with two centuries, and took 33 wickets at 18.09 to finish as the third-highest wicket-taker among spinners in the tournament.
Rasool, who made his first-class debut for J&K in the 2008-09 season, has played 17 first-class matches, scoring 1003 runs and taking 46 wickets.
Rasool, who was once arrested in Bangalore for allegedly carrying explosives before being released, made headlines after being named in the India ‘A’ and Board Presidents XI squads for the warm-up matches against England and Australia in late 2012 and early this year.
Although he did not make much of an impact against England, Rasool returned impressive figures of 7/45 against the Aussies in February. In that particular match he was also the second highest scorer for his team with 36.
The all-rounder cashed in on the opportunity to become the first cricketer from the valley to bag an IPL contract when he was signed by Pune Warriors India ahead of the sixth edition of the cash-rich T20 league.
Through his performances, he has earned accolades from the legendary Bishan Singh Bedi, who had coached Jammu & Kashmir in the past season, besides a host of others from the cricket community.