"A cricketer should always be seen only as a cricketer", the Jammu and Kashmir player said

Unfazed by the politics that followed after he became the first player from Jammu and Kashmir to be picked in the Indian team, all-rounder Parvez Rasool on Tuesday said that he should be seen and judged solely as a cricketer.

Rasool was picked for the recent ODI tour of Zimbabwe but was not given a single game by the team management. Controversy arose when J&K Chief Minister Omar Abdullah lashed out at the BCCI for not fielding Rasool in any of the five matches.

But Rasool prefers to remain apolitical and urged everyone to look at him only as a player.

“A cricketer should always be seen only as a cricketer.

Whatever performances I have given in the past and the way I am performing at the moment, I would request people to look at only those and that’s all,” Rasool told reporters here.

Rasool, however, conceded that his selection in the national team has brought in a lot of positive change as far as cricket in the state is concerned.

“Obviously after my selection a lot of youngsters are taking up the game in the State. A number of new leagues have also started, including J&K Corporate Premier League. Parents now come to me and talk about their kids’ future in the game.

Even the youngsters have started to work very hard,” said Rasool.

The 24-year-old all-rounder admitted that he has a long way to go before he can break into India’s playing XI.

“There is a lot of difference between domestic and international cricket. In International cricket you need to work very very hard. I am looking to improve my game so that I can play for India,” he said.

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