In what is an exciting piece of new for aspiring cricketers in the Valley, two youngsters – Rasikh Salam and Qamran Iqbal – have been selected to represent India U-19 team in the upcoming tri-series to be played in England.
The All-India Junior Selection Committee met in Surat on Sunday, deciding the final squad for the one-day series between hosts England, India and Bangladesh. As many as 19 cricketers were nominated for the tour, which begins from July 21. The two talented cricketers from Jammu and Kashmir have also made their way into the side.
Rasikh Salam, who recently appeared for Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League, is going to don India U-19 jersey for the first time while Qamran Iqbal has been a part of the team earlier as well.
It is for the first time in history that two cricketers from J&K are going to play for the national side. Qamran is an attacking opening batsman while Rasikh is a right-arm pacer. Both have done exceedingly well for Jammu and Kashmir at the U-19 level.
Rasikh, who hails from south Kashmir’s Kulgam, bagged a couple of five-wicket-hauls in the Cooch Behar Trophy 2018-19 helping him get into the spotlight. He also played the first of IPL 2019 match for Mumbai Indians. Qamran, a Srinagar native, also has been consistent with the bat for J&K.
The duo was part of the National Cricket Academy camp where they impressed the selectors to earn a spot in the Indian team.
Lauding the budding cricketers, J&K’s lone international cricketer Parvez Rasool wrote on his official Facebook handle,
“Congratulations to Rasikh Salam and Qamran Iqbal two boys from J&k in under-19 team great all the best you guys are deserving to be there..”
Apart from Parvez, the state hasn’t produced any top-level cricketers as of yet. However, with Rasikh and Qamran making it to the India U19s, which could change very soon.