Umran Malik earned his maiden India call-up on Sunday on the back of his stunning show with the ball in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL). And, his father Abdul Rashid was so overwhelmed with this and expressed his thoughts too. The 21-year-old Umran has impressed everyone with his sheer pace and as a result, he has been picked in the Indian team for the South Africa series. However, it wasn’t a surprise as he has picked up 22 wickets in the cash-rich league from 14 games while playing for SunRisers Hyderabad (SRH) and placed fourth in the wicket-takers’ list as well.
“People were just coming in hoards to congratulate me. I am now going home and would join the celebrations. Just saw the news on internet. What could be a bigger achievement than to wear the national colours,” Abdul Rashid told PTI over the phone as he was rushing to his Gujjar Nagar residence in Jammu. “He has made all of us proud with his performances in the IPL and the way the whole country rallied behind him, we as a family can only be thankful. Pura desh ke support mila mere Umran ko.”
However, Abdul Rashid and his wife have done a lot of sacrifices for Umran Malik to break the barriers but his father wants no credit as well. Notably, he is the second player from Jammu and Kashmir to play for India after Parvez Rasool. While Rasool belongs to the valley, Umran is a Jammu boy, coached by Randhir Singh Manhas and mentored by senior state team pacer Ram Dayal as well. It is also noteworthy that, he gave the youngster his first spikes.
“Umran had self belief that one day he will achieve success. He had faith in his skill and talent and worked hard for it. It is completely his success and also Almighty’s blessings. He worked hard and God supported him. I don’t deserve credit for his hard work,” Rashid said. “We just want him to make the country proud with his performances. Nothing else matters for us.”
Meanwhile, Manhas had shared with PTI how a 17-year-old Umran Malik had casually walked up to him and requested to allow him to bowl at his nets as well. “His house is near river Tawi and the adjoining area of the river bank is primarily sandy. Umran grew up running on sandy fields and playing cricket all his formative years. That has led to a very strong lower body,” Manhas had recently told PTI. “You won’t find many guys who at 17 had such fabulous body structure and in-built strength without any gym training.”
On the other hand, his father also spoke about the speedster’s stamina. And, he said that the pacer’s journey has just started. He wants the talented seamer works hard to do well for the country. However, he runs a fruit shop in the city’s Shaheedi Nagar area and he always backed his son in his cricketing career. Moreover, for him, donning the Blue jersey is a cherished dream and he is not at all bothered how IPL and India call-up could change their lives all of a sudden as well.
“Humein apne zubaan se nahi bolna chahiye lekin iska stamina dekhne layak hain ji. Bachpan se, pura din subaah se leke shaam tak khelta rahta thaa. (I don’t want to brag but my son has unbelievable stamina. He would play cricket from dawn to dusk). Now, I want him to work even harder and perform well for the country. He needs to focus on playing for India for a long time. He is our only son (apart from two daughters), so we (me and my wife) always gave him lot of love and indulgence. We never had any apprehensions that playing cricket could be risky. We have always kept Umran happy and we never made him realise that there are hardships. Whatever he wished for, he got it. More than me, my wife is his biggest supporter,” Rashid further added about Umran Malik.