Umran Malik: The 21-year old fast bowler from Jammu & Kashmir has been handed a maiden Indian Premier League call-up.
Indian Premier League franchise Sunrisers Hyderabad have named a “short-term COVID-19 replacement” for their fast bowler T Natarajan.
Natarajan, 30, who has played seven matches for India across formats, had been tested positive for COVID-19 hours before Sunrisers’ first match of the second leg of the 14th season of the IPL against Delhi Capitals in Dubai on September 22.
Although asymptomatic, Natarajan will have to undergo a mandatory 10-day isolation period in addition to returning a couple of negative tests before rejoining the squad. Apart from Natarajan, fellow all-rounder Vijay Shankar and some members of the support staff are also isolating after being identified as Natarajan’s close contacts.
Natarajan, who had joined Hyderabad only last season, has picked 18 wickets in 18 matches for them at an average of 31.83, an economy rate of 8.09 and a strike rate of 23.61.
Who is Umran Malik?
Following the likes of defending champions Mumbai Indians, Sunrisers have handed a maiden IPL call-up to one of their net bowlers in Umran Malik. Readers must note that Malik will no longer be available once Natarajan rejoins the squad.
“Under the Regulation 6.1 (c), franchises are allowed to sign a short-term replacement player until the original squad member is permitted to re-enter the team’s bio-secure environment. Hence, Malik will only be a part of the Sunrisers Hyderabad side until Natarajan recovers and is allowed to join the team,” read an official statement on IPL’s website with respect to the development.
Malik, 21, is a right-arm fast bowler from Jammu & Kashmir. It was as recent as earlier this year that Malik had made his T20 and List A debut for J&K.
Squad Update: Umran Malik, a fast bowler from Jammu & Kashmir, who was with the #Risers as a net bowler, has been added to the squad as a short-term COVID replacement for T Natarajan. #OrangeArmy #OrangeOrNothing #IPL2021 pic.twitter.com/0erUIJLPgg
— SunRisers Hyderabad (@SunRisers) September 24, 2021
Having played a match each against Railways and Bengal, Malik has picked three and one wicket in T20 and List A cricket respectively. While the inexperienced player will join fellow J&K batsman Abdul Samad in the main squad at SRH, he will have to contest against Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Khaleel Ahmed, Sandeep Sharma, Siddarth Kaul and Basil Thampi for a spot in the Playing XI.