Srinagar, Apr 15: Auqib Nabi, an all-rounder from J&K, is concentrating on proving his value to IPL clubs during his current assignment as a net bowler for Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Auqib, who is widely regarded in J&K's cricket community and who in recent years has emerged as the top-speed all-rounder for J&K's senior side, is now participating in the IPL 2023 as a net bowler for the Sunrisers Hyderabad franchise. He is a second speed bowler from J&K in the Sunrisers camp, the other being Tahir Bhat.
The franchisee already has got three players, Abdul Samad, Umran Malik and Vivrant Sharma from J&K in its main squad. Vivrant last season also served as a net bowler for the Sunrisers and this season was brought for a whopping Rs 2.60 cr in the auction.
Among other players from J&K in the IPL squads, as net bowlers, Abid Mushtaq is with CSK, Mujtaba Yousif is with CSK, Basit Bashir is with MI, Waseem Bashir is with LSG, Umar Nazir is with PBKS and Samiullah Dar is with KKR.
Being part of the franchise sides as a net bowler is an encouraging thing as it was out of being a net bowler, Umran Malik went on to emerge as the hottest property in Indian cricket right now.
Auqib is hoping to achieve similar success by following the path of Malik and Vivrant Sharma.
"It is great to be part of the Sunrisers Hyderabad squad as net bowler. The atmosphere is encouraging with everyone being given equal importance and encouragement. After being part of the team, I can now relate how youngsters easily find their way into the main squad," Auqib Nabi said.
The 26-year-old Auqib Nabi made his List A debut for J&K in the 2018–19 Vijay Hazare Trophy on September 23. He made his Twenty20 debut on November 11, 2019, in the 2019–20 Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. He made his first-class debut on January 3, 2020, in the 2019–20 Ranji Trophy. Since then he is among the main players of the J&K senior men's squad. His pace bowling is reckoned high while and he has also been contributing with the bat.
The Baramulla-based cricketer has taken 38 wickets in 17 first-class matches while 28 in 20 List A matches. He has claimed 20 wickets in 17 T20 matches for J&K.
It is not the first time that Auqib is serving as a net bowler for the IPL team. He has previously served as a net bowler in KKR and Gujarat Titans squads.
"Being a net bowler for any IPL squad is an opportunity. When you go unsold in an auction, it is the best way to get into the reckoning. A lot of players have found their way into the IPL main squads after serving as net bowlers. Our own Umran Malik and Vivrant are examples," Auqib said.
Recently India pacer Mohit Sharma who last represented India in 2015 revealed that he last season served as a net bowler for Gujarat Titans after going unsold in the IPL player's auction.
Sharma this season was drafted into the main squad of Gujarat Titans and went on to give a match-winning performance against Punjab Kings.
"Stories like that of Mohit Sharma encourage you to continue and keep working hard. To keep rolling and working hard is the only way to climb the ladder of success in this T20 competitive World. I am trying my best to impress everyone," Auqib said.
The J&K pacer said that South African legend Dale Steyn who is the bowling coach of Sunrisers Hyderabad and other senior pacers like Bhuvneshwar Kumar are always there to help youngsters.
"I have noticed one thing among the likes of Dale Steyn and Bhuvneshwar Kumar. They encourage you to do well. And whenever you ask for their help they are always there. They don't discourage you but instead spend their time teaching and guiding you," he said.
"Being part of the top-level squad that involves the World's top cricket talent is always helpful. Even if you don't get into IPL main squad still the experience of working at this level is going to improve your game. It has multiple benefits and I am trying to take them all," he said.
About Umran and Samad who are now senior players of the Sunrisers squad, Auqib said, " They are my colleagues and I know them for a long now. Since I arrived in the team, they have been helpful. They both have been helpful to a lot of our local talent. They don't discourage any local talent back home who want their guidance. So far they have helped a lot of players".