Irfan Pathan highlights one thing that impressed him about SRH new-comer Abdul Samad

KT NEWS SERVICE. Dated: 1/2/2020 11:12:59 PM

JAMMU, Jan 2: From being an anonymous struggler who just wanted to keep his place in Jammu-Kashmir’s U-19 side to getting an Indian Premier League contract by the Sunrisers Hyderabad in the recently concluded auctions in Kolkata, all-rounder Abdul Samad is living a dream.
In the past 10-12 months, Samad has made his debut in T20, List-A and First-Class cricket. And, now the 18-year-old is set to become the fourth cricketer out of Jammu & Kashmir after Parvez Rasool, Mansoor Dar and Rasikh Salam to feature in the IPL. But, it wouldn’t have been possible, had it not been for player-cum-mentor Irfan Pathan, who first spotted the talented youngster at the Science College ground in Jammu during a camp organized for the state Ranji Trophy team.
“What caught my eye was his ability to bat on the up and also along the ground on a dry surface, where senior batsmen were struggling. The ball was keeping low, but here I saw a rookie batting without any trouble. I immediately checked his scores in the junior circuit. I was very impressed. I wanted to test him in the shorter format of the game. So, during Syed Mushtaq Ali 2018-19 season, he debuted against Nagaland and smacked an unbeaten 76 of 51 balls, helping us win the match comfortably.” Irfan said as quoted by Cricbuzz.
“There is no doubt he is a work in progress but a couple of things make him an exciting prospect. First, he can bat anywhere and can hit sixes at will. He is a good wrist spinner too. He has got a sharp googly and bowls very accurately for a part-timer,” he added.
In the ongoing Ranji Trophy season, Samad has already racked up 242 runs in five innings which includes a hundred as well as a couple of half-centuries. His maiden FC century came against Assam in just 72 balls, an innings which was studded with eight sixes and seven fours.
“I owe everything to Irfan sir. Unka J&K cricket se judna sone pe suhaga jaisa ho Gaya Gayaan Pathan joining Jammu and Kashmir has been the icing on the cake). I don’t think I could have made it this far. He has helped me a lot and has backed me from the word go. But I have to work harder now, as my journey has just begun,” he added.



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