In the ongoing edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), young Sunrisers Hyderabad pacer Umran Malik has been one of the standout stars, bowling the fastest deliveries with his raw pace and earning praise from all quarters, with some experts calling for him to be fast-tracked into the India men’s side.
In his second season of featuring in the IPL after making heads turn in the second half of the 2021 edition, Malik has taken 15 wickets in his first eight matches, including an enthralling 5/25 against Gujarat Titans. But in his last three matches, the 22-year-old has gone wicketless.
His father, Abdul Rashid Malik, believes that IPL 2022 is a part of a learning curve for Umran to be a better player, with a hope to turn out for the national side in future.
“Our kid is getting to learn a lot. We want him to work harder in future, learn many more things to play very well. In the coming time, we hope he plays for India and performs well,” said Rashid in a chat with IANS.
Though Hyderabad lost that match to Gujarat, Malik made the world sit up and take notice of his bowling yet again by ratting the stumps of Wriddhiman Saha, Shubman Gill, David Miller and Abhinav Manohar apart from dismissing Hardik Pandya with a short ball.
Watching Umran bowl a searing spell in Jammu, Rashid recalled that the environment around their home looked as if Eid had arrived early.
“Our Eid was celebrated that day. Isse zyada khushi ki baat aur kya ho sakti hai (Couldn’t have been a happier moment for us). Everyone in our neighbourhood was happy, whole of India was rejoicing that our child was doing great. We just hope that he plays for the country in future and makes the nation proud.”
Rashid attributes his son’s pace and stamina to inclination towards the game from childhood, including bowling for long hours in the searing heat of Jammu. “The (sandy) soil here (near his house) has made him reach where he is today. Playing on this soil has made him the bowler he is currently. From childhood, he had interest in playing cricket and bowling fast. He had a lot of stamina. From starting only, he used to say that I will play cricket.
“In Jammu, he used to go to play tournaments from morning till evening. We used to tell him not to play much under the sun, ‘you will fall ill and your face will turn black’. He used to say, ‘Papa, I have to see my life, not my face. I play cricket only, don’t do any other work.’ I thought, let’s support him and people would say that your child plays very well, he delivers balls so well.”
Rashid revealed that he and Umran’s mother have chats with their son whenever he has free time and feels blessed over experienced Indian cricketers as well as Hyderabad’s pace bowling coach Dale Steyn having chats and sharing cricketing knowledge with his son during IPL 2022.
“Our duaa (prayer) right now is that he does well and takes a lot of lessons in IPL alongside big cricketers. Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni have praised him a lot and he is getting to learn a lot from them. Dhoni and (Jasprit) Bumrah make him understand a lot of things. He is getting a lot of support from all the big players for India.
“He is getting to learn a lot from one of the proven pacers in the world (Steyn, the former South Africa pacer). If he soaks in all the lessons, he will put in even more hard work and will go far. We just say that he should work harder because one reaches great heights with hard work.”
At his fruit and vegetable stall, Rashid gets noticed by a lot of people sending him congratulatory messages, including young children. “There are little boys who pass along and say ‘Look, that is Umran’s papa.’ For us, it is the proudest moment. People here are so happy and stop their cars to give their congratulatory messages.”
‘I Presume That He Will Continue As Captain Till The T20 World Cup In 2024’: Sourav Ganguly On Rohit Sharma
Impressed with his captaincy at the ODI World Cup, former captain Sourav Ganguly on Friday threw his weight behind Rohit Sharma, saying he should lead India at least till the T20 World Cup in June next year.
Rohit, who led India to the ODI World Cup final at home, and Virat Kohli have taken a “break” and will miss the white-ball leg of the upcoming South Africa tour, beginning December 10.
Talking to reporters, Ganguly said the duo deserved rest so that they come back “fresh” for the hectic calendar ahead.
“Once Rohit is back playing all formats, he should be the captain of India, because he has done so well in the World Cup,” said the former BCCI president, who was named the Dabur Chyawanprash’s brand ambassador for East India, during a program here.
“You saw in the World Cup how well they played. They are absolutely integral and an important part of Indian cricket. Interestingly, both Rohit and Kohli haven’t played a T20I since the semifinals against England in the 2022 T20 World Cup and the BCCI was not clear whether the duo should be in India’s scheme of things for the T20 global showpiece in six months time.
After the 2022 T20 World Cup, Hardik Pandya was named India’s T20 captain but following his injury during the ODI World Cup, Suryakumar Yadav is leading the team in the ongoing five-T20 series against Australia.
“They have been exceptional this World Cup” – Sourav Ganguly on Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma
“World Cups are different than a bilateral series because the pressures are different. They have been exceptional this World Cup and hopefully six-seven months down the line in the West Indies they will be again at their best,” Ganguly said.
“He’s (Rohit) a leader. I expect and I presume that he will continue as captain till the T20 World Cup in 2024.” The duo will be back for the two-Test series in South Africa beginning with the Boxing Day Test in Centurion.
“Very rightfully, they have taken a break because there is so much cricket all the time. I cannot imagine that you played a World Cup final on the 19th and in three days’ time you’re playing a T20I series against the same team,” Ganguly said.
“It is not easy to pick yourselves up, especially with the pressures and demands of the World Cup. I’m happy that they have got a break.
IPL 2024: ‘We Respect His Decision’, Gujarat Titans’ Director Of Cricket On Hardik Pandya’s ‘Desire’ To Return To Mumbai Indians
Gujarat Titans’ Team Director Vikram Solanki acknowledged Hardik Pandya’s contribution to the team’s success in then last two seasons. The former England cricketer revealed that it was the all-rounder himself who expressed his desire to return to the Mumbai Indians and that they wholeheartedly respect it.
On Monday, Mumbai Indians’ officially proclaimed Pandya’s inclusion in their ranks as some confusion prevailed after all 10 franchises announced their retention and released list. The Titans decided to trade Pandya for a sum of INR 15 crore, with Shubman Gill succeeding the all-rounder as the franchise’s captain for IPL 2024.
As the first captain of Gujarat Titans, Hardik Pandya has helped the franchise deliver two fantastic seasons that resulted in winning one IPL championship and one appearance in the final,” Solanki was quoted as saying in a statement.
“He has now expressed a desire to return to his original team Mumbai Indians. We respect his decision and wish him all the very best in his future endeavours,” the former England batter further added.
“Shubman Gill has shown growth in stature and standing” – Vikram Solanki on Gujarat Titans’ new captain
Solanki, who has closely worked with the Gill, vouched for his maturity.”Shubman Gill has shown growth in stature and standing over the last two years at the highest level of the game. We’ve seen him mature not only as a batter but also as a leader in cricket,” Solanki opined.”His maturity and skill is evident in his on-field performance and we are extremely excited to embark on a new journey with a young leader like Shubman at the helm,” the head of GT think-tank said.
The Titans finished as the runners-up in IPL 2023.
‘Use And Throw Has Been…’: Did Irfan Pathan Take Dig At Hardik Pandya On Reports Of Moving Back To Mumbai Indians Ahead Of IPL 2024?
Former Indian all-rounder Irfan Pathan posted a cryptic tweet on X, referring to the ‘Use and Throw’ policy and netizens have predictably started analysing who is it directed to. With star all-rounder Hardik Pandya likely to shift his base back to Mumbai Indians ahead of IPL 2024, fans allege that the post is meant for him.
Several reports have suggested that the Gujarat Titans captain will return to his old franchise in an all-cash deal of ₹15 crore ahead of the 2024 edition. Should it materialise, it will be the biggest trade of the season, given the 30-year-old is one of the most-sought white-ball players in the world today and won the crown on his captaincy debut.Pathan took to X and wrote, ‘Use and throw has been the real characteristic since the start.’
Hardik Pandya currently nursing an ankle injury suffered during the 2023 World Cup:
With the seam-bowling all-rounder suffering an ankle injury during the 2023 World Cup game against Bangladesh, ruling him out of the remaining fixtures too, he is likely to mark his return during IPL 2024. Notably, Pandya could also be leading Team India in the 2024 T20 World Cup set to take place in June 1st week in the West Indies and USA.
The Baroda-born cricketer was part of Mumbai Indians from 2015-2021 and played a hand in four of their title wins. Hence, he would be an invaluable addition to the five-time champions’ arsenal.
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