Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) fast bowler Umran Malik is running in excellent form. Umran took 5 wickets against Gujarat Titans on Wednesday (27 April). After this spectacular performance, Umran is being discussed everywhere and fans are demanding to include him in the team for the upcoming tournaments like Asia Cup and T20 World Cup.
The journey till IPL has not been easy for 22-year-old Umran Malik. Till the age of 17, he did not get any special coaching and did not play cricket with leather ball. Till this age, Umran had come to play in ‘Mohalla’ tennis ball tournament, where any youth player can earn anything between Rs 500 to Rs 3000 depending on his reputation.
In the year 2017, Umran reached out to well-known local coach Randhir Manhas at the Maulana Abul Kalam Stadium in Jammu and Kashmir. At that time, the experienced batsman of the state Jatin Wadhawan was batting in the nets. Umran said to Randhir, ‘Sir, will you let me bowl?’ Randhir Manhas allowed him to bowl after a lot of request. While bowling without shoes that day, Umran made Jatin Wadhawan miss all four balls. Randhir Manhas was very impressed after seeing Umran’s talent.
Randhir Manhas, coach of the Jammu District Cricket Association, says, ‘I told him that the day you play Umran at the national level, you will not have to look back. So be serious. I sent him for Under-19 training, where he bowled while borrowing shoes. He was selected for the Cooch Behar Trophy, but only got to play a rain-hit match against Odisha.
Narrating an interesting incident, Manhas said, ‘Umran was in the stadium one day and the Assam team needed net bowlers for practice. Ajay Ratra asked Umran if he would like to bowl in the nets. Umran immediately agreed but after 15 minutes the Assam coach asked Umran to stop as he had to take part in a match. Ratra did not want him to get hurt.
Umran used to run on the river bank
In the case of Umran, one would be surprised to know that he was not a part of gym sessions before entering Sunrisers Hyderabad. Actually. Umran’s house is near the Tawi River and the area around the river bank is mainly sandy. Umran grew up running on sandy grounds and playing cricket in his early years. Due to this his lower body had become very strong. As far as his yorkers are concerned, the credit goes to tennis ball cricket.
Umran’s father is a vegetable seller
Umran’s father Abdul Malik runs a local fruit and vegetable shop. Umran started his career four years ago on a concrete pitch in Gujjar Nagar. When Umran occasionally went to play cricket with a tennis ball at night, Abdul Malik would follow his son. Because he was afraid that Umran might go on the wrong path somewhere.
Umran’s father Abdul Malik had said in an interview, ‘We know what this age is like. There are many youths who are spoiling their life by consuming drugs etc. I was worried. But he (Umran) assured us that he only has the intoxication of cricket. So the family need not worry. Sometimes I used to sneak in to see if he was actually playing.”
This is how he got entry into the SRH team
Umran Malik was included in the Sunrisers team after the injury of T. Natarajan last season. The story of Umran’s joining is quite interesting. Actually, Abdul Samad had sent Umran’s bowling videos to VVS Laxman and Tom Moody. Sunrisers liked his videos and everything else is now history. Abdul Samad also belongs to Kashmir and is a part of Sunrisers in the current IPL.