Power-hitting all-rounder Abdul Samad, from Jammu & Kashmir, has made his debut in the Indian Premier League (IPL) playing for Sunrisers Hyderabad against Delhi Capitals on Tuesday. 

The Rajouri-born is the second cricketer from Jammu and Kashmir to play in the cash-rich tournament after Parvez Rasool, who played for the same team.
In the December auction, Hyderabad bought Samad for Rs 20 lakh for the 13th season.

In an interview following the auction, former Indian all-rounder Irfan Pathan, who mentors J&K cricket team, narrated how he had discovered the youngster. 

The Pathan spotted Samad at the Science College ground in Jammu during a camp organised 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,” he had told TOI. 

The former cricketer also recommended the player to SRH mentor and former India teammate VVS Laxman, who was looking for a finisher to add to the squad.

Abdul boasts of a decent record in domestic cricket. In 11 T20s, he has gathered 240 runs at a 136.36 strike rate. He has played only 8 List A ODIs in which he scored 237 at a steady strike rate of 125.39.

He also made his Ranji debut last season and managed to score 592 runs in 10 first-class matches.

Pathan took to Twitter to celebrate the 19-year-old’s inclusion in the first team. “Another feather added to Jammu & Kashmir’s cricketing fraternity as Abdul Samad is all set to make his IPL debut. I wish him the luck for his long career ahead! I am certain, this will create positive waves in J&K’s younger generations; who will look up to this upcoming Hero!”

Samad can also come in handy with his occasional legbreaks for the Hyderabad franchise.