Pune: The day Parveez Rasool has been eagerly waiting for came on Thursday as he became the first cricketer from Jammu and Kashmir to play in the Indian Premier League.
After spending time on the sidelines for 12 matches, the 24-year-old batting all-rounder, finally found a place in the playing XI of Pune Warriors ahead of their match against Kolkata Knight Riders here.
Rasool replaced leg-spinner Rahul Sharma to earn his maiden IPL cap.
The unassuming player from the valley shot to limelight with a seven-wicket haul against visiting Austrlians while playing for the Board President`s XI earlier this year.
Rasool, a day ahead of his 24th birthday, spun a web around the Aussies with impressive figures of seven for 45 for the Board President`s XI on a pitch that offered the slow bowlers assistance.
A month before that, the all-rounder was included in the 14-member India A squad to play in a warm-up one-day match against England in Delhi.
The call-ups were rewards for his strong showing with both bat and ball in J&K`s otherwise disappointing run in the last Ranji Trophy season.
He finished on top of both batting and bowling charts for the team with 594 runs, including two centuries, and 33 wickets.
With just two wins and 10 defeats, his IPL franchise, Pune would hope that Rasool`s inclusion would bring a change in their fourtunes.
As far as the cricketer is concerned, he would hope that it`s better late than never.
First Published: Thursday, May 09, 2013, 21:13