SRINAGAR: Indian Premier League might not find a huge following in Kashmir, but the Valley’s maiden representation in the tourney in form of their star cricketer Parvez Rasool has given cricket nerds a strong reason to switch to the BCCI owned T20 extravaganza.
There has been hardly any buzz among cricket fans in this part of the world vis-à-vis IPL unlike the recently concluded World T20 that saw Kashmiris tuned to the sport, discussing and debating happening on and off the field. J&K skipper Parvez’s presence in the IPL, representing Sunrisers Hyderabad who bought the star off-spinning all-rounder for a whopping Rs 0.95 crore, though, has attracted the fans to tune to the league, wanting the J&K most followed cricketer yet to do well.
Parvaiz is the first and only cricketer from the state thus far to make it to the IPL. He was pocketed by erstwhile Pune Warriors last season before Sunrisers made a strong bid in the auction held February this year to have the all-rounder in the side. Parvaiz’s first stint with the IPL yielded him only two games, but with Shekhar Dhawan led Sunrisers boasting of just one premier spinner in leggie Amit Mishra, his case becomes strong to be part of the starting XI as the second spinner on the UAE leg of the IPL in specific, where pitches are tailor made for slow bowlers. Parvez’s batting and his ever rising graph in Indian domestic cricket gives him edge over other spinning options in Sunrisers at the minute.
Sunrisers take field today against Rajasthan Royals in the evening fixture at Abu Dhabi, which would mean cricket fans in Kashmir showing a keen interest on the game and keep a track of Parvez’s performance.
In Parvez’s hometown Bijbehera, his fans are eagerly waiting for their star cricketer to see him in the action.
Shah Mubashir, a cricketer himself, hopes that Parvez gets a continued run in the playing XI to tell the world what he is made of.
“We are so excited as we want Parvez to do well. He got limited opportunities last season, now with Sunrisers we hope he gets more games that will give him confidence to express himself with the bat and ball. We will be rooting for Sunrisers because Parvez will be representing them. Otherwise people here aren’t excited about IPL,” says Mubashir who wants Parvez to bat in the top six to give an indication of his batting prowess which has somehow been overshadowed by his wicket taking off-spinners.
For Pampore’s Sameer Bhat, IPL stint for Parvez is a huge platform to press his credentials to make it to the Indian team.
“He has been so close to get an Indian cap, but somehow missed it. Now, he has got another top notch platform to make his presence felt and remind Indian selectors of what can he offer if picked for the Indian team,” says Bhat.
Pitches in Middle East-hosting the first leg of IPL, Bhat says, would assist Parvez, the bowler, and him getting wickets and strangling batsmen in the middle overs won’t be a surprise.
Mubashir Hassan, one of the few BCCI qualified coaches, feels IPL experience would make Parvez a better cricketer and a good show will do a world of good for his overall career.
“The potential of cricket and cricketers of our state is being identified with Parveez Rasool. He has made it this far on the basis of his performance backed by some luck as well for there were some good all-round performances from his teammates like Samiullah Beigh and Adil Reshi as well. Beigh and Adil were unlucky to miss out considering some mediocre performers have made it to the lucrative league,” says Hassan.
If performs well, Mubashir reckons, J&K cricket will be boosted big time.
“It is a big day once again for Parvez and cricket of J&K. If he makes it count it will really help J&K cricket in the long run. Wishing him all the luck with leather and willow as well,” says Mubashir.
Friday evening will cricket fans tuned to their TV sets, hoping that J&K’s only player is amongst wickets and runs.