After becoming the first Jammu and Kashmir player to be selected in an IPL team in 2013, Parvez Rasool is now ready for his second stint in the T20 league and reckons that the presence of star players in his team will help him grow as a cricketer.
The off-spinning all-rounder, who has been bought by Sunrisers Hyderabad for Rs 95 lakh, firmly believes that the T20 event is a big stage to make your presence felt in the national and international market.
“I feel one should grab every opportunity that comes your way and IPL is sure a perfect platform to showcase one’s talent. With so much of television viewership, the world is watching and the selector’s also have an eye on the event. It’s a great chance for any upcoming cricketer to prove his worth in this T20 extravaganza,” Rasool said.
The 25-year-old will be rubbing shoulders with national and international stars in the Sunrisers squad that is led by Shikhar Dhawan. The Jammu and Kashmir skipper feels great to be a part of the same dressing room that will have players like Dale Steyn, Darren Sammy and Ishant Sharma.
“The presence of international and national stars in the Sunrisers squad will certainly be beneficial to my growth as a cricketer. I will try my best to spend time with them, on and off the field. And at the end of it performance is key. So I hope that if and when I get a chance to play, I come up trumps,” said the wily off-spinner.
Rasool though got just two IPL games in the last season with Pune Warriors and his outing with the Virat Kohli-led Team India to Zimbabwe was also restricted to the dug-out but he takes all this in his stride.
“You have to take the rough with the smooth. I personally have taken a lot of positives from all this. I am lucky to have got an IPL break and a chance to travel with the Indian team. How many players get such opportunities?,” said a hopeful Rasool.
On the point of Jammu and Kashmir players getting a raw deal, Rasool argues that performance can wipe away any negativity and believes that it’s far more sunny for J&K players now.
“Our performance has been good in the last couple pf years. Our boys are getting picked in Zonal cricket and also being considered for IPL. I personally graduated from Under-19 to the national team and in IPL for Pune Warriors, so I believe the Kashmiri lads are making their presence felt,” said the upbeat all-rounder.
Rasool did get a few tips from off-spinning great Harbhajan Singh during the Irani Trophy game in February. Rasool was in the Rest of India reserves with Harbhajan as skipper and the J&K player enjoyed the lessons from ‘the Turbanator’.
“It’s my fortune to get advice from a player of the stature of Harbhajan Singh. I am constantly in touch with him. His advice is invaluable and has certainly helped my game. I certainly practice what I am taught to master the art,” he said.
Rasool though was critical of the fans’ behaviour towards Yuvraj Singh after the T20 final. Rasool harbours lot of respect for Yuvi, who was instrumental in winning two World Cups for India, and feels cricket lovers should not turn fanatics towards their heroes.
“Anybody can be at the receiving end of the madness of cricket in this country but fans should realise that a player gives his blood and sweat to the country and is human if he errs. I have great respect for Yuvi paaji and feel that he deserves respect and nothing else,” concluded Rasool.