Irfan Pathan hailed for Abdul Samad’s IPL contract; praises the young batsman

One of the surprising names that cropped up in IPL 2020 Auction was Abdul Samad of Jammu and Kashmir. The young batsman was picked by Sunrisers Hyderabad to become the fourth player from Jammu and Kashmir to bag an IPL deal. Abdul Samad thanked Irfan Pathan, who helped him to get opportunities in domestic cricket.

The out of favour Indian cricketer has been working as the mentor of Jammu and Kashmir cricket for the last two years. Last year, Rasikh Salam, the right arm pacer, successfully got a contract of 20 Lakhs INR from Mumbai Indians and now, once again, he has helped a youngster to get an IPL contract.

Abdul Samad had a good year in 2019 that saw him debut in T20, List-A and Ranji Trophy. Then, he made it big with the Indian Premier League and also earned a place in India’s U19 World Cup squad.

“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. I immediately checked his scores in the junior circuit. I was very impressed. I wanted to test him in the shorter format of the game. So, during Syed Mushtaq Ali 2018-19 season, he debuted against Nagaland and smacked an unbeaten 76 of 51 balls, helping us win the match comfortably,” said Irfan Pathan.

“There is no doubt he is a work in progress, but a couple of things make him an exciting prospect. First, he can bat anywhere and can hit sixes at will. He is a good wrist spinner too. He has got a sharp googly and bowls very accurately for a part-timer,” said Pathan, who believes Samad will get more than handful of games for the Sunrisers Hyderabad.