Discontent with the way in which cricket is being run in Jammu and Kashmir, Parvez Rasool, the first cricketer from the Kashmir valley to play for the senior Indian national cricket team, is mulling a switch from his state side. Rasool, the state's only representative in the cash-rich Indian Premier League (IPL), said that cricketers from the region don't even get the basic facilities to excel in the sport, adding that he had turned down offers from other states to stay with his state team a couple of years back.
"Yes, I am the pride of Jammu and Kashmir. Youngsters get inspired from me. But things have not improved over the years. A player has a time span of three to four years which can be termed as a make-or-break period. I am in national reckoning. If things don't change, I may have to think about other options like playing for a different state," Rasool said
"We lack facilities. We just have two wickets in entire Jammu and Kashmir -- one in Jammu and another in Kashmir 300 kilometres apart. Players will obviously suffer. When I was included in Team India, I thought our problems will be over. Look at the environment in Kalyani. There are so many nets here. Here you can enjoy cricket," the off-spinner lamented.
"But back home, infrastructure is almost nil. There's talent definitely. But nothing has changed. Worst things happening. Hope the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators improves the conditions," he added.
"Cricket must go on. There's politics everywhere but cricket does not suffer. There's infrastructure, coaches and facility. I'm thinking of quitting but it's at an early stage and there's nothing official as yet."
He is also peeved with the cricket administration, saying that people without 'any knowledge of the game' are in charge of the state association.
"Non-cricketers are ruling the association without any knowledge of the game. If your team does well your chances of representing India also improves. We have huge potential but our problems not helping the situation."
(With inputs from PTI)