22-year-old Umran Malik is an Indian cricketer and apparently one of former South African cricketer Dale Steyn’s favourite bowling icons.

Malik, who plays for IPL franchise Sunrisers Hyderabad, was recently lauded by bowling coach Dale Steyn for his exceptional bowling speed. 

“It’s great to see someone run in and bowl 150kmph an hour. Very often we try and create guys to make them more aware like change your pace, do this and that. But I think Umran is out and out raw. It’s great to just let him loose and do what he does, which is great because you don’t want to change people and block him off too much,” Steyn said. 

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He added, “To watch him bowl at 150 clicks an hour consistently is super exciting, not just for me but for everyone watching the game at home or in the stadium. It’s not great to face but it’s super exciting.” 

Who is Umran Malik? 

Umran Malik is a right-arm fast bowler. He was born on November 22, 1999, in Srinagar, Jammu & Kashmir. His father Abdul Rashid earns a living as a fruit seller.

As a child, Umran enjoyed playing tennis matches that would often win him several cash prizes. He also enjoyed playing cricket, but never received professional training for the sport. 

  “After playing in school during the day, he would leave the bag at home and go to play cricket in the evening as well,” Umran’s father Abdul Rashid recalled during a conversation with Jagran Josh.

The turning point

Despite not having played with a cricket ball until he was 17 years old, Malik left his U-19 selectors stunned with his skills during a practice session.

After being impressed by his fast bowling, the selectors reached out to a J&K U-19 coach in order to help Malik get his big break.

At the age of 18, he was inducted into the J&K U-19 team.

On January 18, 2021, Malik made his T20 debut for J&K in the 2020-21 Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. Fast forward to April 2021, he managed to get selected as one of the three net bowlers for the 2021 edition of the Indian Premier League.

On 3 October 2021, Malik made his IPL debut for Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in a match against Kolkata Knight Riders and bowled himself right into the spotlight for five deliveries at a speed of over 150 kmph.

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Malik made his first-class debut as a net bowler for India at the 2021 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup. 

In IPL 2022, he was retained by SRH for Rs. 4 crore.