New Delhi: Jammu and Kashmir cricket all-rounder Parvez Rasool on Tuesday defended himself against criticism for chewing gum when the national anthem was played before a Twenty20 International (T20I) cricket match between India and England, saying sports should not be involved in politics.
The 28-year-old, who made his T20I debut in Kanpur last month, was criticized when a video showed Rasool chewing gum when the national anthem was being played.
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"Let cricketers play cricket and don't involve them into politics unnecessarily. I try to keep my focus on the game and don't let these controversies affect me," Rasool was quoted as saying by a Hyderabad-based news channel.
"It is already very difficult for cricketers from our region to make it into the national team and when these things happen, it is very disheartening. One has to remain tough and should not give importance to such controversies," he added.