Abdul Samad Faooq impressed everyone during his successful debut for Sunrisers Hyderabad against Delhi Capitals in the Dream11 Indian Premier League match at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday.
The 18-year-old all-rounder from Jammu and Kashmir Abdul Samad slammed an unbeaten 12 runs off 7 balls towards the end of the innings. The tall batsman hit a four and a six and finished with a strike rate of 171.
Samad, who excelled in the BCCI’s domestic cricket season last year for J&K, played a little cameo and helped Sunrisers Hyderabad reach a competitive total of 162 for 4 in 20 overs. He also held a very good catch to dismiss Delhi Capitals captain Shreyas Iyer off Rashid Khan’s bowling as Sunrisers Hyderabad registered their first win by upsetting Delhi Capitals by 15 runs.
Many would not believe but Sunrisers Hyderabad’s successful debutant Abdul Samad is a student of Sharirik Shikshan Mahavidyalaya, Koradi. He is a second year student of Bachelor of Physical Education (BPE). The three-year degree course is done after HSC. Samad did his HSC from Jammu but took admission for BPE course last year in Koradi. Although he has not attended the classes as he was thoroughly busy with his cricket schedule, his father Mohammad Farooq often comes to Nagpur and Koradi for doing the necessary formalities for his younger son’s academics.
“Yes Samad is a student of Sharirik Shikshan Mahavidyalaya, Koradi. We took admission for BPE last year. In fact, my elder son Tayyab Farooq is also doing his education in the same college. Tayyab is a student of BPEd and he is in the second semester. BPEd is a two-year course after HSC. Samad could not attend the classes since his admission, Tayyab was in Koradi till the Covid-19 pandemic surfaced in March. He then returned to Jammu,” said Samad’s father Mohammad Farooq on Wednesday.
The 54-year-old Farooq is a Physical Education Master at the District Youth Services and Sports Office, Gandhi Nagar in Jammu district.
Farooq, who is based in Jammu, revealed that he took his sons’ admissions in Koradi College because of his friends there. “I know Ali Sir and Thakre Sir in Koradi College. They are very supportive. I wanted my sons to complete the degrees. Both are excellent cricketers but you need to have education degrees to support employment. When we took admission early last year, we never thought that Samad would play in the cash-rich IPL this season. Hopefully one day, he will play for India,” said Farooq, who was himself a very good cricketer during his heydays.
“I have a lot of Vidarbha connections in my life. I like the region particularly Nagpur very much. People are very friendly in Nagpur. I did my CPEd in 1991 from Hanuman Vyayam Prasarak Mandal (HVPM), Amravati when I was around 24 years old. Then I did BPEd from one of the physical education colleges in Yavatmal in 2008-09 while I was already doing a government service. Whenever I get a chance I will bring Samad to Nagpur and visit his Koradi College,” said Farooq.
The former medium-pacer was instrumental in guiding HVPM team to triumph in the Inter-College Cricket tournament at Amravati in 1991. “I played a lot of matches for HVPM and Youth Cricket Association in local club cricket while doing CPEd,” recalled Farooq.
Regarding Samad’s IPL debut on Tuesday, Farooq said, “we were very excited and turned the TV on at 6 pm yesterday. We were not sure whether Samad would play or not. When we saw his name in the SRH Eleven, we were delighted. In limited opportunity, he performed brilliantly while batting and also did well in fielding. Samad was pleased with his debut and determined to continue his good show in the rest of the IPL season. My dream is to see Samad play for India in the future,” said Farooq.
Samad was bought by the SRH in the players’ auction on December 20 last year for a price of Rs 20 lakh.
Mentored by former Indian star Irfan Pathan, the J&K player-cum-mentor, Samad became the fourth player from J&K to break into the IPL after Parvez Rasool, Mansoor Dar and Rasikh Salam.
A big-hitting batsman, who can also bowl leg-spin, Samad was one of the emerging stars of the 2019-20 domestic season. Nobody struck more sixes than his 36 for J&K in the Ranji Trophy. He hammered 592 in 17 innings at a strike rate of more than hundred. In the Vijay Hazare Trophy match, he crashed four sixes off veteran leggie Piyush Chawla in Jaipur. He displayed his big-hitting prowess in the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy too to force the SRH selectors take notice of his extraordinary skills.