His dreams took flight amid gunfire and bloodshed but, Parveez Rasool, the first cricketer from the valley to be picked for the India 'A' team, was so enamoured by the 22-yard strip that he can't remember the violence that scarred the beauty of Kashmir.
The 23-year-old all-rounder appeared for India 'A' in a practice match against England XI on Sunday. The feat redeemed the youngster, who was detained by Bangalore police for questioning in 2009 in connection with suspected presence of explosives at the Chinnaswamy Stadium.
He was, however, given a clean chit a few days later. "It was a not a great thing to happen, whether by any mistake or an error in the machine or whatever... I didn't spend too much time thinking over it," Rasool told PTI.
"At the end of the day I thought that I am a cricketer and my job is to play. This thing could have happened with anyone for that matter and unfortunately it was me on that fateful day," added Rasool, who hails from Bijbehara in South Kashmir's Anantnag district, once considered to be a hot-bed of militancy.
The modest cricketer is grappling to come to terms with the new-found fame and is more than happy to narrate his journey with enthusiasm to everyone that rings him up with a congratulatory hello.
"Last few days have been out of this world. It is an amazing feeling. My phone has been bombarded with congratulatory messages and people want to know about me. All this seems so surreal," said Rasool.
Rasool conceded 16 runs from his three overs in a winning cause against England in a practice game.
Asked if the sound of bullets ever distracted him from cricket, the all-rounder came up with a curt "no".
"I don't even remember one such incident. My focus has always been on cricket," said Rasool who earlier had a chance to hone his skills alongside India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni.