The day Parveez Rasool had been eagerly waiting for came on Thursday as he became the first cricketer from Jammu and Kashmir to play in the Indian Premier League.
After spending time on the sidelines for 12 matches, the 24-year-old batting all-rounder, finally found a place in the Pune Warriors playing XI for their home tie against Kolkata Knight Riders.
Rasool replaced leg-spinner Rahul Sharma to earn his maiden IPL cap.
The all-rounder made an impression on his debut as he claimed Jacques Kallis' wicket in his 2nd over. Though he failed to take any more wickets, Rasool bowled an economical spell with his four overs only going for 23 runs. He also bowled 12 dot deliveries.
The man from Bij Behara, a town in the Anantnag district in the south of Kashmir valley, shot to limelight with a seven-wicket haul against visiting Austrlians while playing for the Board President's XI earlier this year. Rasool, a day ahead of his 24th birthday, spun a web around the Aussies with impressive figures of seven for 45 for the Board President's XI on a pitch that offered the slow bowlers assistance.
A month before that, the all-rounder was included in the 14-member India 'A' squad to play in a warm-up one-day match against England in Delhi.
The unassuming player was also named in India’s probables for the Champions Trophy.
The call-ups were rewards for his strong showing with both bat and ball in J&K's otherwise disappointing run in the last Ranji Trophy season. He finished on top of both batting and bowling charts for the team with 594 runs, including two centuries, and 33 wickets.
With just two wins and 10 defeats, his IPL franchise, Pune would hope that Rasool's inclusion would bring a change in their fourtunes. As far as the cricketer is concerned, he would hope that it's better late than never.
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