Back in 2019 when Article 370 was revoked, it affected the lives of all Kashmiris and among them, was Umran Malik. One can say with certainty that there were (and sadly, are) bigger issues for the people of the state to deal with than not being able to play cricket, but it was a problem still. 

It was a crucial year for the boy who had left studies after class 10 to pursue cricket and now had no place to practice because of the curfew.

2 years later in 2021, he bowled the fastest delivery of IPL. 

Coming to the present day, the pacer has repeated his incredible feat. He bowled a 152.8 kmph yorker to dismiss Wriddhiman Saha last evening, and that was the fastest delivery of this season. He followed that up with a 5-wicket haul, to be announced the Player of the Match.

With 15 wickets to his name, he is now the second-highest wicket-taker of the edition, along with T Natarajan. 

To sum it up, he has had a second consecutive brilliant outing at the IPL and could be a more-than-decent option for the national team. You can’t have enough pace options, can you? 

Another important contribution of Umran is bringing focus to Kashmir cricket. 

The state remains relatively sidelined, because of the political environment but the pacer’s heroics at the IPL begs the higher-ups to shift their gaze a bit, try a little harder.

Umran is the son of a vegetable seller who has paid his dues to be where he is. 

His father came out and said that his son has made the entire state proud and the family now wants to see him play for India. That would be wonderful, indeed. 

After representing Kashmir in the Under-19 tournament, he never looked back and is one of those rare players who are both, intuitive and talented. As his father puts it, he will make the whole country proud one day.

Umran has made me popular in the market and in fact in Jammu overall. Everyone greets me saying adaab in the market. When people or tourists come, they ask me, “Are you Umran’s father?”. I feel so great. I am proud that the world knows him now. I hope he continues to make his country proud.

Umran is 22 years old and with proper guidance, can do wonders! Imagine Bumrah and him in Tests for India. On a good day, India would be absolutely unplayable. Definitely, something to think about.