Afzal Guru hanging: Will putting J&K cricketer in Team India really help?

The Indian government is reportedly pushing for Jammu & Kashmir allrounder Parvez Rassol to be included in India’s squad as a way of defusing the tension in the state over the hanging of Mohammad Afzal Guru earlier this month, according to the Hindustan Times.

Afzal Guru was executed for his role in the 2001 attack on Parliament, which has led to widespread outrage in the state.

The report claims that to counter this, the government has apparently approached the BCCI through a senior board official about the prospects of Rassol being selected for India.

Cricket happens to be very popular in J&K and Rassol has already become a sporting icon in the state. He attracted national attention when he took 7 for 45 for the Board President’s XI in a two-day tour game against the visiting Australians earlier this month. The 24-year-old also had a very good Ranji Trophy season, scoring 594 runs and taking 33 wickets – topping J&K in both departments.

 Afzal Guru hanging: Will putting J&K cricketer in Team India really help?

Pravez Rassol. PTI

What makes Rassol’s story even more compelling is that in 2009 he was interrogated by the Karnataka anti-terror squad for allegedly having traces of explosives in his kit bag on his arrival in Bangalore with the J&K U-22 team.

When asked about Rassol, Rajeev Shukla, a BCCI vice-president and a minister in the UPA government, said “We have always wanted Jammu & Kashmir cricket to be promoted. The official policy of the government has always been to promote sports in the region.”

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Updated Date: Feb 21, 2013 12:28:25 IST