‘J&K cricket has always been known for producing quality fast bowlers’

Over the years, J&K has produced quality fast bowlers in the domestic cricket arena and some of them even went close to making their India debut.
Currently, Umran Malik who recently bowled second ever fastest delivery in IPL history is likely to be included in Team India and is likely going to be part of Team India in ICC T20 World Cup in Australia.
Currently, Umran Malik who recently bowled second ever fastest delivery in IPL history is likely to be included in Team India and is likely going to be part of Team India in ICC T20 World Cup in Australia. File/ GK

Srinagar: J&K Cricket has always been known for producing quality pace bowlers and the emergence of Umran Malik has once again brought the focus back to J&K fast bowling factory.

Over the years, J&K has produced quality fast bowlers in the domestic cricket arena and some of them even went close to making their India debut.

J&K cricket is projected as a fast bowlers powerhouse and the team has won a majority of its matches in Ranji trophy other circuits mostly because of its pace bowling.

From Abdul Qayoom Bagaw to Surinder Singh Bagal, from Abid Nabi to Samiullah Beigh, from Muhammad Mudhasir to Sameer Ali, from Ram Dayal to Umar Nazir , the list goes on and on.

The current generation of J&K pacers from junior to senior level is full of pacers and the emergence of Umran Malik through his IPL 2022 heroics has shifted focus towards these youngsters.

There is now every chance that IPL and National selectors will closely monitor the performance of J&K pacers and some of them go on to play at the highest level.

Currently, Umran Malik who recently bowled second ever fastest delivery in IPL history is likely to be included in Team India and is likely going to be part of Team India in ICC T20 World Cup in Australia.

Everyone from former India cricketers to top International cricketers are in awe of Umran’s talent and pitch for his inclusion in the National side.

Long before Umran, Surinder Singh Bagal in the nineties went on to knock on the doors of the National team and was part of India-A and Board-XI squads. In 22000sAbid Nabi emerged as the next big thing of J&K cricket and was called by then National team coach Australia’s Greg Chappell to bowl at nets with Team India players in Mohali.

Abid bowled to the likes of Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman and then went on to play for India Under-19 team against England that included some of the future legends of England Cricket like Andrew Strauss, Ian Bell. Abid claimed a five wicket haul against England.

He was soon drafted into India-A squad and also selected for NCA. However the emergence of rebel league ICL proved detrimental for his career. Abid joined the league and was subsequently banned by the BCCI.

By the time Abid came back into the BCCI fold, he had lost two crucial years and lost the chance to play for Team India.

Mohammad Mudhasir was selected for MRF pace academy after emerging as best in the pace talent hunt conducted by former India pacer Javagal Srinath and he even went on to be part of Kings XI Punjab squad in inaugural IPL.

There has never been a dearth of fast bowling talent in J&K and the emergence of Umran is going to help J&K pacers a great deal and is also going to motivate youngsters.

Former J&K pacer Samiullah Beigh said that J&K was always known for its fast bowling.

“Fast bowling talent in J&K has been immense for a very long time. We have always been fighting opposite teams primarily on the basis of our outstanding pace bowling talent and most of our victories in Ranji trophy and Junior state level competitions are credited to fast bowling,” said Beigh.

He hailed IPL as the platform which has brought the focus back towards J&K fast bowling talent.

“While most fast bowlers from J&K went unnoticed because of lack of opportunities at zonal levels and beyond, IPL must be credited for giving opportunity to Umran Malik to showcase his talent. I am cent percent sure that many pacers who bowled great pace and swing retired after playing at state level only,” he said.

Abid Nabi said that no one should be surprised to see Umran Malik belonging to J&K as the place has always produced fast bowlers.

“Not surprised to see Umran Malik steaming and bowling those thunderbolts. It is a common sight in J&K and over the years we have produced some of the best fast bowlers who couldn’t reach this level or got unnoticed. A platform like IPL gives you immediate limelight and focus. Not just for Umran, his emergence will also help other J&K bowlers as selectors will take them seriously now,” said Abid Nabi.

“In the past I have heard that there used to be a bowler in J&K namely Asif Peerzada who had extreme pace. Then we had Qayoom Bagaw and at same time Surinder Bagal. Then in my time we had the likes of Samiullah, Mudhasir, Sameer Ali, Sahil. All of these pacers were quick. In the current crop we have the likes of Umran, Umar, Sharukh, Mujtaba, Rasikh who are good pacers. There are also a couple of fast bowlers at junior level who are likely to make it big in future,” Abid added.

Former J&K skipper and coach Abdul Qayoom Bagaw said that J&K is a fast bowling factory and Umran is another from it.

“There are countless names that come into mind when we speak about J&K fast bowling. Our team was always known for its fast bowling strength and we have always won matches on the back of our fast bowlers performance. Umran Malik is another in that long list and his rise is going to help a great deal. We will see the rise of more pacers from J&K,” Bagaw said.

Umran Malik is a raw talent who doesn’t have a great deal of experience in first class cricket. He played most of his senior cricket for J&K this season and now has gone on to another level during ongoing IPL 2022. Before this season he had only one T20 and List-A match under his belt for J&K.

Umran was last season included by Sunrisers Hyderabad in its squad after the main squad was beaten by Covid-19. In the squad he was discharging his duties as net bowler and the emergence of Covid in Sunrisers squad gave Umran a chance that was enough for him to make an impact.

Currently there are three J&K pacers in the IPL as net bowlers. Sharukh Dar who is an emerging young pacer is witn Sunrisers Hyderabad while Basit is with Punjab Kings.

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