IPL 2020 seems to be the tailor made edition for young talents. If it was Samson and Gill proving their worth in the first week, the second saw an 18-year old Abdul Samad making his debut in the tournament. The icing on the cake on the special occasion for the teenager was the fact he became only the 3rd player from J&K to play in IPL.
Samad played his first game in IPL for Sunrisers Hyderabad against Delhi Capitals and contributed with a useful cameo of 12* from 7, including a six off Proteas quick Anrich Nortje. Hailing from the Rajouri district, Samad played 12 T20s and 10 FC matches before his IPL debut.
Samad’s childhood friends and neighbors are hopeful Samad will inspire young talents to pick up the sport in the region. In a conversation with ANI, Samad’s friend Narupam Singh said, “We are very proud that a boy from Kalakote, a remote village of district Rajouri has reached to that level. We wish him to play in every country and ultimately play for the Indian cricket team.”
Singh also added, “I have played with him in his early days. I wish him great success and a bright future. The youngsters will get the motivation to indulge in sports and perform well in it.”
Meanwhile, Block Development Officer in the region, Khalid Choudhary feels Samad’s journey will inspire and motivate the youth for success in every sphere of life. “His birth and basic schooling has happened in Kalakote. The youngsters should get motivation from his story that if they work hard they will get success in any field. They have the potential to do anything all they want is to channelize their energy in the right direction,” said Choudhary.
Samad reflects on sharing dressing room with the legends
After playing his hand in Sunrisers’ victory, he talked about his time in the SRH camp and rubbing shoulders with some of the cricketing stalwarts in Mutthiah Muralitharan, VVS Laxman and coach Trevor Bayliss. Samad though, seemed unperturbed with the big names and said, “All of them are very good human beings. For me, it doesn’t feel like this is my first season. I am getting a lot of support from the dressing room, from the coaches and captain David Warner.”
Speaking about his performance, he added, “I don’t feel pressure but there is a responsibility of doing well for the team. I want to perform to the best of my abilities to help the team.”
Samad would be looking forward to make more impactful performances for the franchisee as SRH squares off against CSK today.