IPL 2022: The Unheard Story Of India’s Fastest Bowler Umran Malik
Umran Malik burst onto the scene, in the eyes of the entire nation, querying everything possible about him, when the fast bowler made his IPL debut for Sunrisers Hyderabad last season, against Kolkata Knight Riders, and straightaway was clocking 150 KPH! In his next game, against Royal Challengers Bangalore, the 22-year-old bowled the fastest delivery …
Umran Malik burst onto the scene, in the eyes of the entire nation, querying everything possible about him, when the fast bowler made his IPL debut for Sunrisers Hyderabad last season, against Kolkata Knight Riders, and straightaway was clocking 150 KPH!
Until the age of 17, Umran Malik hadn’t played with the red ball, had been having fun in gully cricket, tennis-ball tournaments in Jammu and Kashmir. Five years later, he was troubling the elegant Shubman Gill on his debut.
So where has Umran Malik come from? What’s his story?
In 2018, India’s under-19 selectors had gone to visit the Vaishno Devi Mandir. There they saw Malik bowling in the nets and were left stunned.
“They saw me bowling in nets on a cement wicket and asked, ‘Who are you? You are bowling so fast! Why are you not playing matches?'” Malik recalled while speaking to ESPNcricinfo.
The selectors then asked the J&K U-19 coach to give Malik a game; till then the pacer hadn’t made his debut in the Cooch Behar Trophy.
Umran Malik belongs to a humble family from Jammu’s Gujjar Nagar. His father, Abdul Rashid, is a fruit seller, and he lives with his mother and two older sisters.
As Umran Malik became a big name in tennis ball tournaments in the state – he had been given the nickname of “Ghajini”, from Aamir Khan’s movie for his short hair and physicality – he was suggested to bowl with the red ball.
Umran Malik went to the MA Stadium, where he met Randhir Singh Manhas, a local coach, and Ram Dayal, a senior J&K cricketer, who were both taken aback by Malik’s extreme pace. And then he got the crucial guidance of former India all-rounder Irfan Pathan, from which point his journey kicked off.