Abdul Samad: The Rising Star of Jammu & Kashmir Cricket
Just four matches old in the first-class level, Samad has already made a good impression on others.
Jammu and Kashmir all-rounder Abdul Samad is all set to make his debut in the Indian Premier League (IPL) next season. The 18-year-old cricketer from Jammu and Kashmir was bought by the Sunrisers Hyderabad for his base price of Rs 20 lakh in the 2020 IPL auction in Kolkata on 19 December.
Samad is already making the right noises, courtesy his exemplary batting skills in his debut season. In the four first-class matches that he has played so far, he has scored 370 runs at an impressive average of 74.00, which includes two centuries and as many fifties.
His unbeaten 72-ball 103 against Assam is something that will go on to haunt the state’s bowlers for a very long time. He followed that with another 75-ball 128 against Jharkhand, which helped the Jammu and Kashmir team register an innings win.
Just four matches old in the first-class level, Samad has managed to turn eyeballs in his very first season and has made sure that everyone takes notice of him every time he walks out to bat.
Irfan Pathan – The Mentor
Irfan Pathan, who recently announced his retirement from all forms of cricket, was the first one to spot Abdul during a cricket trial two years ago.
After enquiring about his past records, he immediately promoted him to the senior squad for T20s and List-A matches. For the Ranji matches, he was asked to bat down the order by mentor and former player Irfan Pathan.
“From the first day that I saw him, I always believed that Samad was a match-winner for us. We asked him to open in the shorter formats as we thought that his aggressive intent would help us with rollicking starts upfront,” Irfan Pathan said to the The Indian Express.
“For Ranji Trophy, we opted for a more conservative approach and decided to bring him after three or four wickets were down. In these four matches alone, he has shown his abilities by scoring 70-ball 100s.”Irfan Pathan, Mentor, Jammu and Kashmir
The former Indian all-rounder also believes that Abdul along with one other player can reach the top level of cricket.
“Trust me, he is one of the two players from the current J&K squad with the ability to represent India… the other being Rasikh Salam,” he added.
Indian Premier League
Abdul was trending on Twitter after he was picked up by Sunrisers Hyderabad in the 2020 IPL Auctions on 19 December last year.
The 18-year-old was picked up at the base price of Rs 20 lakh. If anything, this has only boosted the young cricketer’s confidence and helped him play the way he has played in the two first class matches post the auction.
“I don’t read too much into all this. The Sunrisers Hyderabad franchise saw potential in me, which is why they have selected me. But I will have to admit that it did play a part in the way I played in these last two matches. My confidence got a massive boost.”Abdul Samad
Abdul’s father Mohammad Farooq and mother Farzana Kousar feel nothing but proud of their younger son for being the only Jammu and Kashmir player to get selected to play in the 2020 IPL season.
Farooq, who himself used to play club level cricket, feels that this is a very big thing for them.
“I am so happy. I always hoped that my child reaches this level. He has reached there. I am happy that he has been given a chance to play in the IPL. I always wanted my children to play cricket,” he said.
“I constantly used to give him cricket equipments. He used to play in the park during his childhood. He has done a lot of hard work and his effort has finally paid off,” he added.
“IPL is at a very big level... initially, there were three people from Jammu and Kashmir in the IPL. Infrastructure is getting developed here. If Abdul has reached this place, many other children will get inspired.”Mohammad Farooq, Abdul’s Father
The 18-year-old’s mother, Farzana, said that the whole family was watching the auction live on television, hoping Abdul to get picked.
“I am very proud. We were watching on TV when his name popped up in the auction. He has done a lot of hard work. It was his aim to reach this level. His father has supported him a lot. I also used to go everywhere with him. I hope he plays for India one day,” she said.
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