The dreams of budding cricketers in Jammu and Kashmir touched new heights when a 24-year-old local youth was selected for the 14-member India 'A' team to play a warm-up match against England Jan 6.
Manzoor Ahmad Wazir, treasurer of Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association (JKCA), told reporters: "Parveez Rasool, right-arm batsman and medium pacer playing for the state's Ranji team, has been selected for the India 'A' cricket team. He has been included in the 14-member Indian squad that will play a warm-up match against England on January 6."
It is for the first time that a local cricketer has made it to the country's top team. Suresh Raina, the ace batsman of the Indian team, is also of Kashmiri origin but his family had settled outside the state since long and Raina has never played for the state.
Rasool belongs to south Kashmir's Anantnag district and played in first class cricket in 2008 as a member of the J&K Ranji team against Himachal Pradesh.
"In 2012, Parveez scored 594 runs, including two centuries, and took 33 wickets in the matches," Muhammad Ashraf Bhat, selector of the state's Ranji Trophy team, told IANS.
Former star cricketer and skipper Bishen Singh Bedi, who coached the local players on the insistence of former chief minister Farooq Abdullah, had told reporters that Kashmir has a huge potential for producing world class cricket players.