Politics in Cricket has never worked well for anybody. It would be nice if we as a nation come to understand and respect that. Our ability to highlight a certain issue through social media has also become our weakness to see through the deeper reality of things.  The recent controversy over Parvez Rasool’s exclusion from the playing eleven testifies that.

In this day and age, it is easy to get sucked into something through the social media hot air that is created around a particular issue and one that caught the eye in particular was the one created around the young all rounder from Jammu and Kashmir Parvez Rasool. He is a fine cricketer and earned his call up for the recent tour of Zimbabwe through fine performances in the domestic circuit but what became the main talking point was that he is the first cricketer ever to earn a berth in the Indian cricket team, who belongs to the state of Jammu and Kashmir and his eventual exclusion from the final eleven in each of the five games that were played.

pervez rasool Politics And The Cricketer From Jammu & Kashmir

Cricketer From Jammu & Kashmir

However, his exclusion from the playing eleven from all the 5 games of the series against Zimbabwe was turned into a mini political circus when Omar Abdullah, the Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir and Shashi Tharoor, the Minister of State for Human Resource Development, Member of Parliament stated that it was unfortunate that the young man did not get a chance. Now, both these individuals commented on the event in their individual capacity as cricket fans and although Mr. Abdullah is the CM of the state from which Rasool belongs, he is an avid sportsman and takes active interest in several sports. The chairman of the J&K Cricket Association Aslam Ghoni and former cricketer and chief selector Dilip Vengsarkar also chipped in with their pearls of wisdom regarding the fact that Rasool was not selected for at least a game in that ODI series.

Politics & Hyperbole In Indian Cricket

Within minutes of these comments becoming public, social media was taken over with this issue and Parvez Rasool in fact became a trending topic on Twitter. One cannot take such a thing lightly since the power of social media is much enhanced now and the news spread like wildfire as almost a million people started talking about the issue online, without the slightest bit of conviction but an inclination to talk about an issue that was on everyone’s mind. Now, it needs to be kept in mind that the issue became a talking point only because Omar Abdullah spoke about the issue being the CM of Jammu and Kashmir and Mr.Tharoor, in my opinion spoke as a cricket fan but their comments were taken in a context which implied that politicians were now meddling in the areas of team selection.

Nothing could be farther from the truth as Omar Abdullah later clarified that what he said was simply a means of self expression as did Mr. Tharoor but the way the whole thing was taken out of proportion meant that the stand in captain Virat Kohli had to issue an explanation as to why the cricketer was kept out of the side. He rationalised and correctly so, that Ravindra Jadeja was the man who was supposed to play as the batting all rounder in the side and since Rasool would have been a direct replacement he did not get a chance. That was the best possible way to rebuff to all sorts of conspiracy theories and regional bias theories which were floating around in social media as well as mainstream media. Once the captain explained the people who were in frenzy came to their senses and finished their so called ‘campaign’.


In this day and age of online freedom, it is easy to have an opinion and perspective on anything that goes on in this world but often it is noticed that the anger towards the usual failure of the system gets diverted towards issues which have no relevance in the larger scheme of things. Parvez Rasool is a talented cricketer who already has an IPL contract and is in the fringes of the Indian team, so sooner rather than later he will get a look in since Indian cricket is no longer the disorganized cesspool that it used to be in the 1980s when a youngster used to be as good as forgotten if he did not get a game on tour or worse still had a poor outing in one game. Hopefully, in the future people will be a bit selective as far as the issues are concerned which might be worth the hyperbole.

Also See:
In Indian Cricket – Is The Batting Dynasty In Safe Hands ?
ICC Champions Trophy 2013 – India vs Sri Lanka Cricket – Let’s Hope the Ghost of Year 2000 is Buried

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