Former India keeper-batter Saba Karim has praised Irfan Pathan for playing a 'big role' in the emergence of young Jammu & Kashmir fast bowler Umran Malik. He urged the BCCI to utilize his skills and hire him as a pace bowler scout.
Irfan worked with Malik when he was the coach-cum-mentor of the Jammu & Kashmir team and is seen as instrumental in the meteoric rise of the tearaway fast bowler.
On Sunday, the 22-year-old pacer was named in the Indian T20I squad for the five-match home series against South Africa next month.
Reacting to the youngster's selection, Karim took to his Twitter handle to hail Pathan's role and wrote:
"Irfan Pathan had a big role to play in the emergence of Umran Malik. He has an eye to spot rare talent. Strongly feel that BCCI should utilise his expertise and make him Head, Pace Bowler Scout. #irfanpathan #aakashchopra #SouravGanguly."
Malik was among the few shining stars in SunRisers Hyderabad’s (SRH) underwhelming IPL 2022 campaign. In 14 matches, he picked up 22 wickets at an average of 20.18 with a best of 5 for 25.
"He had the self-belief that one day he will achieve success" - Umran Malik's father
Earlier, reacting to the young fast bowler's selection in the Indian team, his father Abdul Rashid described it as a dream-come-true moment. Speaking to PTI, he said:
"People were just coming in hoards to congratulate me. I am now going home and would join the celebrations. Just saw the news on the internet. What could be a bigger achievement than to wear the national colors."
Thanking the nation for rallying behind his son, he added:
"He had the self-belief that one day he will achieve success. He had faith in his skill and talent and worked hard for it. It is completely his success and also the Almighty's blessings. He worked hard and God supported him. I don't deserve credit for his hard work."
Having made his domestic debut in November last year, Malik has so far featured in three first-class matches, one List A game and 22 T20 encounters.
India's T20I squad for SA series: KL Rahul (c), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ishan Kishan (wk), Deepak Hooda, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (vc) (wk), Dinesh Karthik (wk), Hardik Pandya, Venkatesh Iyer, Y Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel, R Bishnoi, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Harshal Patel, Avesh Khan, Arshdeep Singh and Umran Malik.