While star cricketer Abdul Samad is set to entertain everyone again with his full antics in the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021, there are three other cricketers from J&K who will be part of the tournament in as net players.
Amid the surge in COVID-19 cases across the country, a secure bio-bubble is in place for the league and franchisees have roped domestic cricketers as net bowlers for their teams. Cricketers would be part of the league from start to finish in the bio-bubble.
From J&K, this time three youngsters joined the money-rich IPL as net bowlers. Cricketers include Mujtaba Yousuf, Umran Malik and Auquib Nabi. The trio have already joined their respective teams and completed their mandatory quarantine period before the start of training sessions.
While Mujtaba was previously part of IPL as a net thrower, this will be the first time for Auquib and Umran.
Mujtaba, who was counting on qualifying for IPL’s main roaster but failed in the auction, is part of the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) led by Virat Kohli. Auquib Nabi, who is an emerging all-rounder and who this year represented J&K in the One-Day and T20 formats, is part of Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR). Umran Malik from Jammu, who this year has appeared on the scene with his breakneck pace for J&K, is part of Sunrisers Hyderabad. This is the same franchise that plays Abdul Samad, who also belongs to Jammu, province.
A former J&K cricketer called it a “good development” for cricket at UT and said it would help those bowlers in the long run. “It is always beneficial to be around and learn from top quality players. This is a good opportunity for these three young people and it will benefit J&K in the long term, ”he said.
He added: “It was obvious that Mujtaba had gained a lot of experience and knowledge from being in the league last year. For this season in J&K, he spearheaded the One-Day format and the T20. We were sure he would be chosen by one of the IPL teams at auction, but that did not happen despite the call for three-team trials. However, we are always happy that he emerges as a top bowler once again surrounded by high quality players. The former cricketer, however, said it would be a new experience for Umran and Auquib.
“Auquib is a talented all-rounder and I hope that being around top players will help him a lot. Umran had a great first outing for J&K in T20 and has a good pace, ”he said.
The IPL management, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, used the services of national cricketers as net players for the teams during the tournament. Normally local cricketers were a part, but due to the bio-bubble only a select set of cricketers are used. These actors must be part of the bio-bubble from start to finish.