IPL 2022: ‘Dhoop ho, Chhav ho, Isne Mehnat Kabhi Nahi Chhodi’

Fast bowling has always been a fascinating aspect of cricket. History is replete with the speed merchants who always have dominated different eras of the game even as we talk about cricket being a batter’s game. Every generation of cricket fans have been blessed with an array of unbelievable fast bowlers – While 60s had Fred Trueman, Wes Hall, the 70s and 80s were dominated by the West Indies’ fearsome quartet – Michael Holding, Andy Roberts, Joel Garner and Colin Croft , the ‘Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse’ – and add to that the bowlers of the quality of Jeff Thompson, Dennis Lillee. The 80s saw Malcolm Marshall terrorise batters and the rise of pacers from the sub-continent with Imran Khan leading the pack before making way for the greats of the game in the 90s in Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Allan Donald and Curtly Ambrose. While the best pacer of the 2000s was Glenn McGrath, the effect Shoaib Akhtar had on the batters with his raw pace was unmatched. Dale Steyn carried forward that legacy and the likes of Jasprit Bumrah, Kagiso Rabada and Pat Cummins are well and truly asserting their dominance in this decade. India, for long known to produce quality spinners, have had a recent spurt of talent who can bowl fast… really fast.

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One such talent is Jammu’s Umran Malik who is making some waves with his bowling prowess and raw pace. It was in the UAE leg of IPL 2021 when the right-arm quick burst into the scene, clocking 152.95 kph against Royal Challengers Bangalore in Abu Dhabi which turned out to be the fastest delivery of the season. Though his team di lui, Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) had a season to forget, the 22-year-old was the find of the season.

In 2022, SRH began its campaign with a few hiccups before getting back on track. But there was only one man who was insanely consistent and never failed to collect the award for the ‘fastest delivery’ whenever his team played a game. On Sunday, Malik pace proved too much for Punjab King batters as he became only third bowler in the IPL history to bowl the 20th over as a maiden, bowling triple-wicket maiden.

Clocking over 150 kph is always a herculean task. Better ask the legends who have done it in their heydays. And to notch that speed on a regular basis is still a dream for many capped cricketers across the world. But when Malik bowls, he makes the process look so simple. But the batters could hardly spot the ball before throwing away their bats at it. The pundits are left awestricken with what he brings to the table. They often wonder how he does that at the drop of a hat. Well, there’s no rocket science in it but an old saying, “practice makes a man perfect”. And Malik’s father, Abdul Rashid has to say the same. “His bowling action and pace di lui are all natural. He has not done any special training or additional work on that. It comes naturally. He used to practice with a Cosco tennis ball. And it is what it is, ”Rashid said in an exclusive chat with News18 Cricketnext.

“He always used to believe in himself as an individual that he wanted to succeed in his life. He is playing IPL today and we hope that with God’s grace he would represent India soon and will make the whole nation proud, ”he added. IPL 2021 acted as a launchpad for Umran. After ending the season, he went directly into the Team India bio-bubble for the T20 World Cup in the UAE as a net bowler. Bowling to the likes of Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma was quite an experience and the lessons he learned made him stronger.

As a prize for his hard work, he found himself on the SRH’s list of retained players. It came as a surprise for many as Umran was held back after having played only three games for the franchise. But for the Malik family, it was a matter of jubilation. His father di lui thanks to the SRH management for showing faith in his son di lui and says,

“It was a great feeling; we would like to thank SRH to retain him and giving him an opportunity. And Umran also wanted to stay back with the team ”he told News18 Cricketnext.

“Sunrisers had faith in him and Umran came as a player and live up to the expectations. We as parents also want him to perform well for his team and make himself and everyone proud. “

On April 15, when Malik castled Kolkata Knight Riders captain Shreyas Iyer with a near-perfect yorker, emotions ran high in the SRH dugout. Bowling coach Steyn jumped off his seat and had a crazy celebration with his colleague and the legend of the game, Muttiah Muralitharan.

Reacting over the moment, Rashid said, “The entire family was watching the game yesterday. Nobody is born with the learnings. So, when an experienced person tries to impart on someone so that helps a lot. “

As the old adage goes, you can achieve whatever you dream of; all you need is to work hard with self-belief. Nothing but that’s the formula of Umran’s success.

Rashid, who owns a fruit and vegetable shop in Jammu, reflects on all the hard yards his son has gone through.

“It’s all his hard work that has taken him to the IPL. Na din ko sota tha, na raat ko sota tha. Dhoop ho, chhav ho, isne mehnat kabhi nahi chhodi (He hardly slept in a day. Lui Ne never stopped working hard regardless of the conditions).

“He was interested in cricket since his childhood, he always wanted to be a cricketer. We never stopped him to do so. He was also good at his studies and regularly went to school. After school hours, he used to go to play cricket. His mother di lui has supported him throughout. Whatever he needed for cricket, we made sure he gets that. Whatever he is today, is only because of his passion of him, ”he concluded.

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