The son of a vegetable vendor from Jammu and Kashmir, Umran Malik has almost become an overnight sensation for his raw pace in IPL.
Sunrisers Hyderabad’s (SRH) fast bowler Umran Malik is the epitome of the saying ‘dreams do come true’. The 21-year-old cricketer from Jammu city has almost become an overnight sensation after his debut Indian Premier League (IPL) match on Sunday. The son of a vegetable and fruit vendor caught the attention of many for his high-speed bowling skills.
Speaking to India Today, Umran’s father, Abdul Malik said, “My son got inclined to cricket when he was just three years old. He always dreamt of becoming a professional cricketer. We were so happy when he was picked by Sunrisers Hyderabad to play in the XI squad on Sunday. We were glued to the TV and there were tears of joy in my and my wife’s eyes. My son has worked very hard. We always supported him. We hope that one day he plays for Team India.”
He added, “It is not an ordinary achievement for us. We are from a poor family. I sell vegetables and fruits to make a living. My son has made me proud.”
Since then, congratulatory messages have been pouring in from all quarters for the Maliks. Jammu and Kashmir Lt Governor Manoj Sinha in a tweet said, “Heartiest congratulations to Umran Malik on IPL debut today from the Sunrisers Hyderabad Team. You have made the entire Jammu Kashmir proud. You are the inspiration for many young cricketers. Best wishes for your cricket career ahead.”
Heartiest congratulations to Umran Malik on IPL debut today from the Sunrisers Hyderabad Team. You have made the entire Jammu Kashmir proud. You are the inspiration for many young cricketers. Best wishes for your cricket career ahead. pic.twitter.com/Aau4ZcGNKh
— Office of LG J&K (@OfficeOfLGJandK) October 3, 2021
Here’s what you need to know about this promising debutant cricketer:
- It was during the SRH match against the Kolkata Knight Riders that he clocked 151.03 kmph speed of bowling.
- This, so far, has been the fastest delivery by an Indian during the season. Out of the 24 legitimate deliveries he bowled, 11 of them were above 145 kmph.
- Umran was inducted into the squad as a replacement for T Natarajan, who had tested positive for COVID-19 before the start of the season in the UAE.
- A Class 10 drop out, Umran was always keen on pursuing cricket professionally. It was his coach, Randhir Singh Manhas who first spotted his talent when he was all of 17 years of age.
- Umran would play at various local tournaments and on an average clocked a speed of over 145 kmph.
- He also got the opportunity to play in the U-19 Jammu and Kashmir team but did not get much time on the field.
- In 2019, just when he was getting the chance to train well, there was a curfew imposed in the city because of the abrogation of Article 370. This led to a ban on all training camps in the city, which was a huge roadblock for Umran.
- Prior to making a splash at the IPL, Umran featured in just one T20 and List A match for his state, in which he managed to knock-out four wickets.
Virat Kohli, captain of the Indian cricket team and Royal Challengers Bangalore was quick to comment. He said, “This tournament throws up talent every year. Good to see a guy bowling at 150 clicks. It is important to understand the progress of individuals from hereon.”
Harsha Bhogle, noted cricket commentator took to Twitter to ask Irfan Pathan, if there were any more gems in the state of Jammu and Kashmir waiting to be discovered.
Something about pace that has you on the edge of your seat. Umran Malik isn’t just a tearaway. He looks a proper bowler and we need to look after him.@IrfanPathan, any more there in Jammu and Kashmir?
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) October 6, 2021
Irfan replied saying, “Harsha bhai, So far we’ve only managed to scratch the surface of J&K cricket. So much more talent to discover there!”
Exciting times ahead for the IPL season and perhaps even for the Indian cricket team as well.
(Edited by Yoshita Rao)