Living the IPL dream

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At 19, Parvez Rasool Zargar  is already aiming to play in the Indian Premier League – his failure this year seems no setback. Hamidullah Dar reports.
He missed the Indian Premier League 2 (IPL-2) by a whisker. But Parvez Rasool Zargar, a teenage cricketer from Bijbehara town in south Kashmir definitely made a mark for himself, with bat as well as ball. He was among the players called for selection for Kings-XI Punjab team, owned by Bollywood star Preity Zinta. Though he could not make to the final squad, his exploits in the quadrangular T-20 tournament organised for selection of players was noticed.
A right-hand batsman and a natural stroke player, 19-year-old Parvez was the highest scorer for J&K, scoring 160 in four T-20 matches at a reasonably good average of 40 and a healthy strike rate. He also notched up a half century in the tournament – 62 of just 35 balls. He also proved handy with his right arm off-spin picking up five wickets with a good economy rate.
Besides J&K, other teams in the competition were Punjab, Haryana and Himachal-Pradesh.   
“Though I could not find a place in the team selected for IPL-2, I am hopeful that I would make it in the next competition,” said
Parvez, adding that his confidence level is at its best after getting appreciation from the likes of Yuvraj Singh and Virat Kohli.
Brought up in a poor family, Parvez, a student of B Sc 2nd year at Govt. Degree College (boys) Islamabad, says his father never lets him down when it comes to studies or cricket.
“Though my father is a labourer, he supports me. My late mother also never stopped me in taking cricket as a profession,” says Parvez.
Parvez’s interest in cricket dates back to his childhood when he watched his father play. He started playing for his school team, Islamia Higher Secondary School Bijbhera and at the same time played for Bijbhera Sports captained by former J &K Cricket Captain and fast bowler, Abdul Qayoom.
Like most cricketers from Bijbhera, Qayoom is the role model of Parvez.
“Qayoom bhai always used to help me out and I have learnt lot from him. Today he is the coach of Bijbhera Sports and his experience always makes a difference,” says Parvez.
Parvez himself captained J &K under-19 and under-22 teams in nationals and presently represents the State Ranji team too.
In the 2008 under-19 tournament, he scored five half-centuries in consecutive one-day matches while in under-22 tournament he scored 165 against Haryana and 167 against Delhi in the longer version of the game.
Parvez feels that Kashmiris have plenty of talent that needs to be channelized in the right direction. Lack of grounds and inexperience of playing a turf cricket, according to him, is the biggest obstacle in producing good cricketers.
“We only have one turf in Srinagar. So people from far off places have to be content with playing on mats. The need of the hour is to have turf pitches in every district,” says Parvez.

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A journalist with seven years of working experience in Kashmir.

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