India’s fastest bowler Umran Malik is from Kashmir

The Jammu and Kashmir bowler hadn’t played with a cricket ball until he was 17. Now he’s in the IPL, and bowling in the nets for India at the T20 World Cup.
India soon,” Umran Malik wrote in his Instagram bio in 2018. He was 18, part of the Jammu & Kashmir Under-19 squad, and had started playing leather-ball cricket just a year before. He was still to get a game in the Cooch Behar Trophy, but his bowling in a practice session left India’s U-19 selectors stunned.
They had come to visit Vaishno Devi Mandir,” Malik says. “They saw me bowling in nets on a cement wicket and asked, ‘Who are you? You are bowling so fast! Why are you not playing matches?'”

The selectors approached a J&K U-19 coach and advised him to give Malik a game. It was the first time Malik realised that he could make it big.

Last month Malik, now 21, became only the fourth cricketer from J&K to play in the IPL. As soon as he ran in to bowl in his opening game, for Sunrisers Hyderabad, the speedometer came into focus. He touched 150kph several times in his spell. In his second match, he bowled the fastest delivery by an Indian in the tournament’s history – 152.95kph.

Umran hailing from a family of modest means in Jammu’s Gujjar Nagar, Malik began playing at a young age. His father, Abdul Rashid, a fruit-seller in Shaheedi Chowk, his mother and two older sisters, were all supportive of his passion.

“After playing in school during the day, he would leave the bag at home and go to play cricket in the evening as well,” says Rashid. “I used to tell him, ‘Play cricket but pay some attention to studies as well.’ I never refused to buy equipment or other things for him.”

Malik’s long, steady run-up and smooth, explosive jump had commentators and fans liken his action to that of Waqar Younis. “I used to bowl fast from the very beginning,” he says. “I had a natural action. I didn’t copy it from anyone.”

At 17 he ventured beyond gully cricket, into competitive tennis-ball tournaments around Jammu. The matches usually took place in the evenings and drew big crowds. Batters relished these games – ten overs an innings, short boundaries – but Malik’s pace often stole the spotlight.

“Every team wanted him in their side,” says Raman Thaploo, a J&K cricketer who has watched Malik’s cricket journey closely.

His growing popularity in tennis-ball cricket made him give leather-ball cricket a try. In his very first local match with a cricket ball, in 2017, he hit some huge sixes and bowled a fiery spell.

He had just bowled a couple of balls when Ram Dayal, a senior J&K cricketer, walked in. He stopped at the nets and watched for a while. “He [Dayal] asked, ‘Who’s this guy? He has raw talent and bowls around 135 to 140kph,'” Manhas says.

Manhas asked his new pupil to come to the stadium daily. While much about Malik was in place, Manhas worked on a couple of things. “He was a natural talent. Usually players with Cosco [tennis-ball] background are quick through the air.

“However, his jump and landing weren’t that perfect, so I worked with him on it. Later, when Irfan Pathan came here [as J&K mentor], he too helped him a bit.”

Another player who practised at that ground was Abdul Samad, younger than Malik but a more seasoned cricketer, who would go on to play for J&K and Sunrisers Hyderabad before Malik. The two began training together every day. “I knew Samad earlier but we became best friends in 2018,” says Malik. “We’re now more like brothers.”

Malik’s career was still not quite on track. When he went for the J&K U-19 trials, he was in for a surprise. “I was told that I haven’t played at district level, so I can’t appear in the trials.”

Still, he decided to show up again the next day. “I went to nets and as they didn’t know whether I had played district or not, I started bowling. I just bowled one ball and the selector came to me and said, ‘You will be in the team, don’t worry. Just keep yourself ready.'”

He played his first match here at Jammu,” Thaploo remembers. “When he bowled the very first ball, it went above the keeper’s head after bouncing. Umpires were stunned. They asked him if he had played any nationals before.”

The following year, Malik was rejected at the U-23 trials. In February 2020, Samad, now a part of J&K Ranji Trophy team, met the J&K U-23 team coach to plead Malik’s case. It was Samad, too, after being picked by Sunrisers Hyderabad for the 2020 IPL, who suggested Malik’s name to the franchise as a net bowler. “I told Samad to send my videos to them,” says Malik.

Soon Malik was in the Sunrisers camp, surprising elite batters with his pace. On one occasion Kedar Jadhav asked him whether he was in the team or a net bowler. On another, Thaploo recalls proudly: “He was bowling very fast to Jonny Bairstow in the nets, and he told him to bowl a bit slow. However, as Malik doesn’t understand English much, he continued bowling fast. Then someone from the SRH camp came to him and said, ‘He is asking you to bowl a bit slow, you’re bowling too fast!'”

Malik’s impressive show as net bowler in the 2020 IPL prompted the franchise to continue with him in 2021. In September this year, during the second leg of the competition, he received a call from the state cricket association, asking him to report back to Jammu for Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy trials. Instead he found himself included in the Sunrisers team as a short-term replacement for T Natarajan, who had tested positive for Covid-19 in Dubai.

“Alhamdulillah, I was included in the team, else I had to travel back the next day,” says Malik. “It was an amazing feeling.”

Once Sunrisers had lost the race to the playoffs, they provided Malik an opportunity in the playing XI, against Kolkata Knight Riders. He had just bowled three balls when the cricketing world started asking: who is this guy?

Malik clocked 150kph in his very first over, and a couple more times in the game. He was, until then, unaware of the speeds he bowled at.

“I thought I could bowl around 140-145kph max. I hadn’t checked my pace before playing in IPL,” he says. “Making my debut in the IPL and performing well in the first match was the most special moment of my life.”

In the next game, against Royal Challengers Bangalore, Malik went a step further by bowling the second-fastest delivery of IPL 2021 – the 152.95kph-ball. At the post-match presentation, Virat Kohli spoke in support of the youngster: “Whenever you see talent like this, you are going to have your eyes on them and make sure you maximise their potential.”

“I really felt proud on seeing such a big player talking about me,” says Malik. “Nobody knew me a day before and now the world was talking about me.”

Back home, Abdul Rashid’s phone didn’t stop ringing after his son’s IPL debut. From journalists turning up at his house and shop to relatives paying congratulatory visits, it was a busy week for him and his family.

“Not only my family but whole Jammu-Kashmir and India is happy after seeing his bowling,” says Rashid emotionally. “His hard work has paid off.”

On the basis of his IPL outing, Malik was included in the Indian contingent as a net bowler for the T20 World Cup. While pace is his major weapon, he can also generate swing into right-hand batters, and likes the bouncer. He is working to improve his skills, and is focusing on his yorker.

“My first dream would be to see our team lifting the World Cup,” he says. “I will try to bowl well in the nets and impress selectors, so that they pick me for any of the future series, Inshallah.”

That “India soon” bio could become reality sooner than expected.

126 thoughts on “India’s fastest bowler Umran Malik is from Kashmir”

  1. I conceive this site has got some rattling excellent info for everyone :D. “This is an age in which one cannot find common sense without a search warrant.” by George Will.

  2. Great post and straight to the point. I am not sure if this is really the best place to ask but do you folks have any thoughts on where to hire some professional writers? Thanks 🙂

  3. I blog quite often and I truly thank you for your information. Your article has really peaked my interest.
    I’m going to bookmark your site and keep checking for new details about once a week.
    I opted in for your Feed as well.

  4. Greetings from California! I’m bored to death at work so I
    decided to check out your blog on my iphone during lunch break.
    I enjoy the info you present here and can’t wait to take a look
    when I get home. I’m amazed at how fast your blog loaded on my phone ..
    I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyhow, amazing blog!

  5. Do you have a spam problem on this blog; I also am a blogger, and I was wondering your situation; we have created some nice methods and we are looking to exchange
    strategies with others, please shoot me an e-mail if interested.

  6. An outstanding share! I have just forwarded this onto a colleague who had been conducting a little research on this.
    And he actually bought me dinner because I found it for him…

    lol. So allow me to reword this…. Thank YOU for the meal!!
    But yeah, thanks for spending the time to talk about this subject here
    on your web page.

  7. Hello would you mind sharing which blog platform you’re working
    with? I’m planning to start my own blog in the near future but I’m having a hard time making a decision between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal.

    The reason I ask is because your design seems different then most blogs and I’m
    looking for something completely unique. P.S Sorry for getting off-topic but I had to ask!

  8. Its such as you read my thoughts! You seem to grasp a lot approximately this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you could do with a few percent to power the message home a bit, however instead of that, that is fantastic blog. An excellent read. I will certainly be back.

  9. What’s up everybody, here every person is sharing these kinds of
    knowledge, so it’s nice to read this weblog, and I used to pay a visit this web site every day.

  10. Hello, i think that i noticed you visited my website so i got here to return the desire?.I am trying to in finding things to improve
    my website!I assume its ok to make use of some of your
    ideas!!

  11. Howdy! I realize this is somewhat off-topic however I had to ask.

    Does operating a well-established website such
    as yours take a large amount of work? I am completely new to blogging but
    I do write in my diary on a daily basis.
    I’d like to start a blog so I will be able to share my
    personal experience and views online. Please let me know if you have any kind of ideas or
    tips for brand new aspiring blog owners. Thankyou!

  12. We stumbled over here by a different web page and thought I might as well check things out.
    I like what I see so now i’m following you. Look forward to going over
    your web page yet again.

  13. It’s really a great and helpful piece of info.
    I’m glad that you simply shared this useful information with us.
    Please stay us informed like this. Thanks for sharing.

  14. I know this if off topic but I’m looking into starting my
    own blog and was curious what all is required to get set up?
    I’m assuming having a blog like yours would cost a pretty penny?
    I’m not very web smart so I’m not 100% certain. Any tips
    or advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

  15. We’re a bunch of volunteers and opening a new scheme in our community.
    Your website offered us with useful information to work on. You’ve done an impressive process
    and our entire community might be thankful to you.

  16. Do you mind if I quote a few of your posts as long as I provide credit and sources back to your blog?
    My website is in the very same area of interest as yours and my
    visitors would definitely benefit from some of
    the information you provide here. Please let me know if this okay with you.

    Thank you!

  17. I not to mention my buddies were found to be viewing the great tips and tricks found on your web page and so then came up with an awful suspicion I had not thanked you for them. Most of the young men became for this reason warmed to learn all of them and have now very much been taking pleasure in those things. I appreciate you for actually being indeed kind as well as for deciding upon some helpful themes most people are really desirous to learn about. My personal honest apologies for not saying thanks to earlier.

  18. I truly wanted to make a brief comment to be able to thank you for these magnificent hints you are sharing at this site. My time consuming internet research has now been paid with awesome insight to exchange with my contacts. I ‘d express that most of us website visitors are unequivocally lucky to be in a fine website with many perfect individuals with useful tactics. I feel somewhat happy to have seen your entire web site and look forward to some more excellent moments reading here. Thank you again for all the details.

  19. Definitely believe that which you stated. Your favorite justification seemed to be on the net the easiest thing
    to be aware of. I say to you, I certainly get irked while people think about worries
    that they plainly don’t know about. You managed to hit the nail
    upon the top and defined out the whole thing without having side-effects , people could take a signal.
    Will likely be back to get more. Thanks

  20. Have you ever considered about including a little bit more than just your articles?

    I mean, what you say is valuable and everything. But imagine if you added some great graphics
    or videos to give your posts more, “pop”! Your content is excellent but with images
    and clips, this website could undeniably be one of the best in its niche.
    Fantastic blog!

  21. I’ve been exploring for a little bit for any high quality
    articles or weblog posts in this sort of space . Exploring in Yahoo I at
    last stumbled upon this site. Reading this info So i’m happy to show that I have an incredibly just right uncanny feeling I discovered just what I needed.
    I such a lot no doubt will make certain to don?t
    omit this website and give it a glance on a constant
    basis.

  22. My programmer is trying to convince me to move
    to .net from PHP. I have always disliked the idea because of the costs.
    But he’s tryiong none the less. I’ve been using Movable-type on a
    number of websites for about a year and am worried about switching to another platform.

    I have heard very good things about blogengine.net.
    Is there a way I can import all my wordpress content into it?
    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    Feel free to visit my website raycon

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.