Happy at his selection in the Mumbai Indians squad for the twelfth season of the coveted Indian Premier League (IPL), Rasik Salam, a teenaged pacer from Kulgam district in south Kashmir, hopes to prove his mettle on the cricket field.
“It is indeed an honour to get a chance and rub shoulders with well-known players, like Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah and others. I am really pleased that my hard work is paying off,” Rasik said over phone from Jammu.
He hoped that he would get a chance to prove himself and justify his selection. “At the same time, I feel lucky and excited at the prospect of learning about the game from some of the modern greats of the sport,” Rasik said.
The young pacer has been bought for Rs 20 lakh, the base price for uncapped players. Son of a government teacher, Abdul Salam, from Ashmuji village of Kulgam-Rasik has become only the third cricketer from Kashmir to be included in an IPL team.
Kashmir’s lone international cricketer Parvez Rasool and batsman Manzoor Pandav are the other two who have received the honour. Both Rasool and Pandav along with Umar Nazir, another pacer from Pulwama, remained unsold in the IPL auctions held on Tuesday.
Rasool said Rasik was a wonderful pacer and his selection in Mumbai Indians was well-deserved.
“He is young and he is pretty good. His selection is well-deserved. I wish him luck,” Rasool said.
Back home at Ashmuji, the Dar family was ecstatic about Rasik’s selection.
“Despite meagre resources, our parents never pressurised Rasik to pursue anything else. He loved cricket and he got support from the family,” said Showkat Dar, Rasik’s elder brother.