It’s Monday morning, but Jammu’s Gurjar Nagar can’t stop talking about Sunday night.
That’s when Umran Malik, the son of a local fruit and vegetable vendor, ran 150 kmph on his IPL debut for Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Umran isn’t the first Indian to touch that magical mark – Javagal Srinath, Varun Aaron and Jasprit Bumrah are among those who have been there before – but cricket’s obsession with youthful tears and 150 milestones has led to his growing up around the age of 21. gave rise to discussion. -old.
It has been quite a journey for India’s latest speed sensation, and one that has worried her father Abdul Malik for a while. Sometimes, when Umran went out to play tennis-ball cricket at night, the father would secretly follow him.
“You know what this age is like. There are a lot of young people who are spoiling their life by taking drugs etc. I was worried. But he (Umran) assured us that he only has ‘nasha’ (high) who is playing cricket, so the family need not worry. Sometimes, I used to sneak peek to see if he is actually playing or not,” Abdul, now a happy father, tells Naveen Bharat.
From being a net bowler for Sunrisers to standing shoulder to shoulder with the game’s greats on match day in the IPL, life has gone fast for Umar, who started his career on a solid pitch in Gurjar Nagar four years ago. had started. Was harassing teammates at IPL nets David Warner And on debut, the likes of India’s young star Shubman Gill clocked in at over 140kmph in his first over.
But then, Umran’s real journey began much earlier, when he, without proper cricket shoes, landed on the coaching nets near his home. “He was a simple skinny guy who wanted to bowl in the nets. I said, ‘Okay, Baul’. We had a player who used to play for the Jammu and Kashmir team. He looked at Umran and said to me, ‘Sir, this boy has fast pace and can be bred to play high cricket’. Who knew then that after three years he would play IPL,” says coach Randhir Singh Manhas.
Umran went for the Under-19 trials in Jammu and was later selected for the Jammu and Kashmir team. He was spotted by veteran J&K veteran Parvez Rasool and coach Irfan Pathan, who were looking for talent across the region. “Some junior players in our team were afraid to face him. He was afraid that he would be hit. He had raw pace, which grabbed everyone’s attention,” says Rasool.
Former Indian bowler Pathan was also impressed. “You can get an idea of his pace from the way the wicketkeeper used to collect his balls. He was a natural fast bowler. Like any small child, he loved hitting the batsmen, hitting them on the pads of their thighs. He was a touch raw, he jumped high while landing, so we worked on it,’ says Pathan.
J&K gave Umran a chance last season when he played a match in the Vijay Hazare and Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy tournaments. soon his friend abdul samadiThe one who played for Sunrisers recommended his name as a net bowler.
And this season, when pacer T Natarajan was dropped due to Covid, Umran got a chance as a replacement. “I was told that he bowled to Warner brilliantly in one of the net sessions, and did not give him a chance. His raw pace impressed everyone and that is why he was picked in place of Natarajan,” says Pathan.
Pathan feels that the red ball will be a big challenge for Umran in first-class cricket. But for now, in Gurjar Nagar, Abdul is enjoying 15 minutes of fame with his son’s 150 kmph. “God has been kind, I never thought I would see my son play in the IPL. I sell fruits and vegetables and it is like a dream come true for all of us. Now, I hope to see him play for India one day,” says the father.