FASTEST BOWLER IS THE SON OF A FRUIT SELLER! By Praveen Jain & Ananya Bhardwaj

ESCOLLATOR: Cricket is proving to be a fastrack route for young people from poor and middle class families to achieve fame and fortune. The latest super-achiever is son of a fruit seller.

Umran Malik has been one of the stars of this edition of the IPL, bowling the fastest delivery and earning rave reviews. His family lives in Jammu’s Gujjar Nagar.

By Praveen Jain & Ananya Bhardwaj

It is 2 pm and the temperature is a toasty 43 degrees Celsius. Unmindful of the heat, Abdul Rashid Malik is busy arranging vegetables and fruits at his stall in Jammu’s Gujjar Nagar. He has to shut shop early today, as he has to rush home to watch the IPL, in which his son, Umran Malik, has emerged as one of the stars of 2022.
As he is busy winding up his stall, two men in their early twenties approach him and say, “aap fast bowler Umran Malik ke papa ho na? All the best aaj ke match ke liye. (You are fast bowler Umran Malik’s father right? All the best for today’s match)”. Rashid smiles.
This is not unusual for the 55-year-old. Ever since his son made a mark by bowling the fastest ball in the IPL for the SunRisers Hyderabad, he is being approached by many people — some congratulate him, some ask him how Umran is doing, while some only come to him to get a picture clicked with him.

“They tell me that they want to get a picture clicked with me. I tell them to come back when Umran is back home. I am shy,” he says coyly.
As soon as he reaches home, Rashid tells his wife Seema Begum and daughter Shehnaaz to leave all work aside and prepare to watch the match. Tea is made, cookies are laid out in a plate, some nuts in a bowl, and everyone sits down to watch the match.
As Umran’s photo comes on the screen and the commentator calls him a sensation, referring to him as ‘sabse tez gendbaaz’ (fastest bowler), Seema Begum’s face lights up and she blurts proudly ‘mera beta’ (my son).
ThePrint’s National Photo Editor Praveen Jain chronicles how life has changed for the Malik family, and what game day for Umran on the field looks like for them back in Jammu.

Courtesy: The Print

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