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Don't mix cricket and politics in Kashmir, says Omar

Srinagar, Feb 22, 2013 (PTI) 18:08 IST
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Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah today sharply criticised reports that promising all-rounder Parveez Rasool should be fast-tracked into the national cricket team with an eye on defusing the tense political situation in the state following the execution of Afzal Guru.

Abdullah said that Rasool, the 24-year-old Jammu and Kashmir all-rounder who has performed consistently this season, should play for India when he merits a place.

"Parvez Rasool should play for Team India when the selectors think he deserves to be there. Don't destroy everything he's worked this way," Abdullah wrote on micro-blogging site Twitter.

Rasool, who has been the highest run-getter as well as wicket-taker for his home side in the recently concluded Ranji season, dished out an impressive performance by bagging seven wickets for Board President's XI in a warm-up game against Australia.

After his performance against Australia, a newspaper report published on Thursday said that the Indian government is understood to be pushing for Rasool's inclusion in the national side.

Such a move, the report claimed, would be exceedingly popular in the Kashmir Valley where cricket has a huge resonance.

The report said that the Central government's stock is very low in the state following the execution of Afzal Guru earlier this month for his role in the 2001 attack on Parliament.

"It's insulting to Parvez and his entire life-long effort and it's insulting to the people of Kashmir who don't need artificially created icons," the chief minister said.

"Of all the hair brained stupid ideas to now suggest that Parvez Rasool had to be foisted on the Indian Cricket Team is deeply insulting," he added.

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