Bengaluru, September 29: Abdul Samad will not forget September 29 ever in his life, the day when his name figured in the playing XI of Sunrisers Hyderabad for an IPL 2020 match against Delhi Capitals in Dubai.
A 19-year-old all-rounder from Jammu, Samad was drafted into Sunrisers after an impressive domestic season for his team.
"I still can't believe I will be part of an IPL team. It is a dream come true for me. The Sunrisers have some great players like David Warner, Kane Williamson, Jonny Bairstow, Manish Pandey, Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Then (VVS) Laxman sir is our mentor. A young cricketer cannot hope for more than interacting with such legends," Samad had told MyKhel after the IPL 2020 was shifted to UAE.
Samad thanked former India all-rounder Irfan Pathan, who coached Jammu & Kashmir in the last domestic season, for guiding him in his journey. "Irfan bhai is a great person. He keeps encouraging youngsters and fills us with a lot of belief. Interactions with him have been very fruitful and I have learned a lot about the game from him. It is our fortune that we have someone like Irfan bhai to learn from and correct our mistakes," said Samad.
The all-rounder said he has been training in Jammu once the lockdown was lifted. "It was a tough period for everyone. Life itself was turned a lot for many of us because Coronavirus. But once the lockdown was lifted, there was chance for me to train and hopefully, all the hard work will come good for me. Hopefully, I can contribute to team's performance but more than all that being part of a team with such great players is itself an experience. Hopefully, I will become a better player,' said Samad.
Samad emerged into limelight in the last domestic season when made some impressive outings in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, Vijay Hazare Trophy and Ranji Trophy, where he made 592 runs with three hundreds and two fifties. He also hammered 36 sixes and led the team's march into the quarterfinal of the premier domestic event. No player had hit more sixes than Samad, and that big-hitting ability came handy for him as IPL scouts came searching for him.
From the relatively humble surroundings of Kala Kota in Jammu, Samad's journey touched a shining point when Brad Haddin, former Australian wicketkeeper batsman and the assistant coach of Sunrisers Hyderabad, handed him the cap.
Welcome to the big boy's club, young lad!