Umran Malik’s maiden India call-up for the upcoming home South Africa T20I series has been celebrated joyously by the fans. A rare breed in Indian cricket, Umran Malik turned the heads with his pace last year when he made his IPL debut and straightaway became the Indian with the fastest delivery in the IPL.
This year, Malik came with a reinforced pace and clocked 156.9 KPH- the second-fastest delivery ever recorded in the IPL. Not just pace, Malik was amongst wicket too this season: he finished with 22 wickets in 14 matches, including his maiden IPL five-wicket haul. And even though, he leaked runs at more than 9 an over, that is something that the selectors looked over given inconsistency comes with such extreme pace.
Irfan Pathan’s Role In Umran Malik’s Success
A major hand in the development of the 22-year-old from Srinagar has been Irfan Pathan, the former India all-rounder who was with the Jammu & Kashmir team as a coach and mentor to Malik.
Former India wicket-keeper Saba Karim has lauded Irfan Pathan for his “big role” in Malik’s progress in the last three years. Karim even went on to suggest the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) rope in Irfan Pathan as a fast bowler scout to make use of his eye for rare talents.
“Irfan Pathan had a big role to play in the emergence of Umran Malik. He has an eye to spot rare talent. Strongly feel that BCCI should utilise his expertise and make him Head, Pace Bowler Scout,” Saba Karim tweeted.
Irfan Pathan had a big role to play in the emergence of Umran Malik. He has an eye to spot rare talent. Strongly feel that BCCI should utilise his expertise and make him Head, Pace Bowler Scout. #irfanpathan #aakashchopra #SouravGanguly
— Syed Saba Karim (@SyedSabaKarim5) May 23, 2022
Irfan Pathan celebrated Umran Malik’s maiden India call-up when they cut the cake, alongside was present J&K’s Abdul Samad as well.
— Irfan Pathan (@IrfanPathan) May 23, 2022
Umran Malik’s father, Abdul Rashid, was over the moon with his son’s selection in India’s squad. Reacting to the news, Rashid described the mood around his house. “People were just coming in hoards to congratulate me. I am now going home and would join the celebrations. Just saw the news on the internet. What could be a bigger achievement than to wear the national colors,” Malik’s father said.