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JammuUmran Malik makes it to India Eleven, Jammu Celebrates

Umran Malik makes it to India Eleven, Jammu Celebrates


New Delhi, May 22

Jammu as a whole celebrates the selection of Umran Malik, a Jammu lad, into Indian Team for South Africa tour.

Umran is the second cricketer from Jammu and to play for India after Parvez Rasool. While Rasool hailed from the valley, Umran is a Jammu boy, coached by Randhir Singh Manhas and mentored by senior state team pacer Ram Dayal, who also gave him his first spikes.

Manhas recalled how a 17-year-old Umran had casually walked up to him and requested to allow him to bowl at his nets and the rest is history.

Despite not being a big player like some of the fast bowlers, Umran possesses a strong lower body, having honed his skills on sandy fields near river Tawi.

“His house is near river Tawi and the adjoining area of the river bank is primarily sandy. Umran grew up running on sandy fields and playing all his formative years. That has led to a very strong lower body,” Manhas had recently told to a news agency.

“You won't find many guys who at 17 had such fabulous body structure and in-built strength without any gym training.” In fact, his father also spoke about Umran's stamina.

“I don't want to brag but my son has unbelievable stamina. He would play cricket from dawn to dusk, said Abdul Rashid, Umran's father.

“Now, I want him to work even harder and perform well for the country. He needs to focus on playing for India for a long time.” He has a well-to-do fruit shop at city's Shaheedi Chowk area and that's reason Rashid never felt that Umran's love for cricket was an impediment towards his studies as there are no guarantees.

For Rashid, wearing the India Blue jersey is a cherished dream and he is not bothered how riches and India call-up could materialistically change their lives. Their colony in Gujjar Nagar at the bank of river Tawi, had erupted in joy with enthusiastic youths carrying the player's posters and dancing to the drum beats.

“We just want him to make the country proud with his performances. Nothing else matters for us.” There are matches in Delhi, Cuttack, Visakhapatnam, Rajkot and Bengaluru. Would Rashid be coming to watch his son play?

People of Jammu and nearby area has been visiting in hoards to congratulate Umran'father at his Fruit Shop at Shaheedi Chowk. What could be a bigger achievement than to wear the colours,” Rashid told a national news agency.

“He has made all of us proud with his performances in the IPL and the way the whole country rallied behind him, we as a family can only be thankful. Pura desh ke support mila mere Umran ko,” he said in a voice from which one could gauge the emotions.

Abdul Rashid was so overwhelmed that he was having difficulty in expressing his thoughts eloquently. It was a different Sunday evening after all. Very different from what he has known in his more than five decades of existence. His 21-year-old son Umran Malik has been selected in the Indian team for the South Africa series.

The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.


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