BIJBEHARA: Contrary to widespread anger and disappointment across the Valley over the Kashmiri all-rounder’s failure to play any match in Zimbabwe, Parveez Rasool’s family at South Kashmir’s Bijbehara township was calm and composed on Saturday.

“Obviously we are upset”, 25-year-old cricketer’s father Ghulam Rasool told The Hindu . “But we fully honour the decision of the team managers. They are the best judges to decide who should play and who shouldn’t. Had he played today, our dream would have come true. Everybody in Jammu and Kashmir would have felt honoured. But, we don’t get carried away by emotions. We are hopeful he will be playing an international one day for India”.

A retired roller operator, Ghulam Rasool has himself been a renowned cricketer in Anantnag when stars like Sunil Gavaskar, Bishen Singh Bedi, Zaheer Abbas and Imran Khan ruled the hearts in 1970s and later. “I was an all-rounder. So are my two sons Asif and Parveez. We have been great fans of the game”, he asserted. Asif and Parveez have played Ranji Trophy.

“We didn’t lose our heart even when Perveez was desperately struggling for an entry at the national level. In 2009, he landed in great trouble at Bangalore when he objected to the checking of his bag by sniffer dogs at his hotel. For several hours, he was labelled as a terrorist. When the police learned that his objection was only due to his Koran and a prayer mat in the bag, their respect for him grew”, Mr Rasool said.

But the ambience outside their residence at Jablipora was melancholic.

“A pall of gloom has descended on Bijbehara, and rest of Kashmir, when the people learned that Parveez had been denied even the last chance. This is being viewed as India’s injustice to a talented Kashmiri player” Shukat Ahmad Tak said.

“Already there was remarkable cynicism, particularly among the younger generation. They would swear that India would never trust a Kashmiri player. Our apprehension is that the constituency of suspicion, cynicism, alienation and the conspiracy theory will grew over the unfair treatment meted out to Parveez”, business and sports promoter Farooq Amin said. He pointed out that a fresh hate-India campaign had been triggered on Facebook and Twitter after Parveez’s failure to play in Zimbabwe.

Parveez had shot to prominence with a brilliant all-round performance in the Ranji Trophy last season with his splendid 594 runs and 33 wickets. He took seven Australian wickets for only 26 runs on one occasion. He is the only player among 15 in Team India who failed to play in any ODI in Zimbabwe.

“How could we bear with it when one day he would play to defeat Pakistan for India?” someone asked on Facebook.

“Really disappointed that Parveez Rasool hasn't been given a game in Zimbabwe. Come on BCCI give the young man a chance to prove himself”, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah tweeted on Sunday when Perveez was left out in the 4th ODI at Bulawayo.

On Saturday, Mr Abdullah grumbled: “Did you really have to take him all the way to Zimbabwe to demoralise him?? Wouldn't it have been cheaper to just do it at home???”.

“Did you really have to take him all the way to Zimbabwe to demoralise him?? Wouldn't it have been cheaper to just do it at home???”

Omar Abdullah