The Indian Premier League has helped many young talents get noticed. While it has been the competition that has even helped youngsters fulfill their dream of playing for Team India, a few have even gone on to make it big and made a name for themselves amongst the best in the world.
The latest India pace sensation who grabbed a few balls when he made his IPL debut for the Sunrisers Hyderabad is Umran Malik. Umran clocked the hallowed 150-kmph mark on his maiden appearance in the cash-rich league. While he is not the first to breach the barrier, the mark he crossed at 21 years of age could be a sign of greatness to follow.
And for now, the family and kin of Umran, who hails from Jammu, are elated at their son's significant achievement. In a recent interview, his father Abdul Malik traced the journey of his son and revealed how he would hide to check on his son when he occasionally stepped out in the night to play tennis-ball cricket.
I used to hide and see whether he was actually playing: Umran's father
"You know how this age is. There are a lot of youngsters who are spoiling their lives by taking drugs and such. I was worried. But he (Umran) convinced us that the only ‘nasha’ (high) he has is playing cricket, so the family need not to be worried. Sometimes, I used to hide and see whether he was actually playing or not," Abdul told The Indian Express.
Meanwhile, his coach Randhir Singh Manhas also looked back at his journey but said that they had not thought he would go on to play IPL in three years.
"He was a simple lanky boy who wanted to bowl in the nets. I said, ‘Ok, bowl’. We had a player who used to play for the J&K team. He saw Umran and told me, ‘Sir, this boy has sheer speed and can be nurtured to play higher cricket’. Who knew then that three years down the line he will be playing IPL," coach Manhas said.
Later, Umran impressed former India pacer Irfan Pathan and Jammu and Kashmir veteran Parvez Rasool who were hunting for talent in that region. It is also being reported that before his Sunrisers Hyderabad debut, he was impressive in the nets and had a great session against David Warner, not giving the southpaw any chance.
Umran's father is going to cherish this moment for a long time but also dreams of seeing his son play for India someday.