Srinagar: Parvez Rasool was modest yet honest in his admission that he did expect a national call-up after his seven-wicket haul against the mighty Australians earlier this year.
"I am very happy that my name has been included in the Indian team. I did a lot of hard work this season, performed well in the domestic cricket where I took 33 wickets and scored 594 runs. I also did well against Australia, so I was expecting a call up for the Zimbabwe tour," an ecstatic Rasool told reporters here.
"I was expecting the selectors to give rest to (Ravichandran) Ashwin for this tour. I would like to thank almighty Allah...without his help this all was impossible for me," he added.
Rasool today created history by becoming the first cricketer from Jammu and Kashmir to be named in the senior Indian team for the Zimbabwe tour.
The 24-year-old Rasool, who has been in contention for national selection for a while now after a string of impressive performances, got the nod in the squad after the national selectors preferred to go in with a young team for the series, to be held from July 24 to August 3 at Harare and Bulawayo.
The decision to rest Ashwin paved the way for Rasool's selection in the senior team since he is also an off-spinner.
The selectors also picked the India 'A' team for the tour of South Africa which also includes Rasool, a native of Bijbehara area in south Kashmir.
Rasool said it's just a beginning for him and he has a long way to go.
"As a player, we all want to succeed at the highest level. My job is to play cricket and give my best. Allah has bestowed his love and respect on the whole valley. After proving the faith of all the cricket fans from the state, I hope I can do the same for the entire nation," he said.
Rasool, who returned impressive figures of 7/45 against the Aussies in February, thanked his supporters for showing faith in him.
"Thanks to all who throughout supported me. I would like to thank the whole of Jammu and Kashmir for supporting me," said Rasool, who had become the first cricketer from the valley to bag an IPL contract when he was signed by Pune Warriors India ahead of the sixth edition of the cash-rich T20 league.
Rasool said the valley has talented players but lack sporting facilities.
"We have talented players in the valley, be it cricket or football. We have talented bunch of players but what puts us on back foot is lack of facilities."
He has taken 46 wickets in 17 first-class matches and scored 1003 runs at an impressive average of 38.57.