Parvez Rasool has been a man of many firsts in Jammu and Kashmir cricket. The all-rounder is not only the first cricketer from the valley to play international cricket, but has also been a pioneer in the Indian Premier League (IPL). In 2013, when Pune Warriors India signed him up, he was the first from Jammu and Kashmir to feature in the tournament.
Even though he failed to cement a place in the Indian team, Rasool has been a consistent performer in the domestic circuit. Under his captaincy, Jammu and Kashmir reached the quarterfinals of the Ranji Trophy this year, before going down to Karnataka.
In his long career, Rasool has also been an inspiration for the young cricketers from the region. And following his footsteps, the likes of Abdul Samad have made their presence felt at the higher level.
Featuring in his first IPL season, Samad earned praises from former cricketers for his all-round show for Sunrisers Hyderabad. And Rasool feels that with more facilities and better infrastructure, the valley will produce more such young talents.
“When I played in the IPL or in the Indian team, the facilities in Jammu and Kashmir were not up to the mark as compared to the other states. We didn’t have even 10 percent of those facilities,” Rasool said on the Tissot Presents Sportstar Extras T20 Time show.
Even now there are not many grounds and that certainly is a challenge for the players. “But yes, a new stadium is coming up and I think that will motivate the players as it will have better facilities. I would say things have improved a bit over the last couple of years. If we get better facilities, we will have more players coming up from Jammu and Kashmir,” Rasool, who played for India in a lone One-Day International and Twenty20 International, said.
Having seen Samad from his formative years, Rasool is happy to see him excel in the IPL. “Abdul Samad is a very good player. He is fantastic and over the years, he has had a phenomenal rise. He has done well in T20s, Ranji Trophy and in the limited-overs tournament. It has been a great year for him. In the current Ranji Trophy side, we have many youngsters, and with a mentor like Irfan Pathan, they get to learn a lot,” Rasool said.
This time around, four bowlers from the valley travelled to the United Arab Emirates as net bowlers with various teams. And Rasool believes the experiences will help Jammu and Kashmir cricket grow further.