Abdul Samad was among the youngsters who hogged the limelight in the recently-concluded IPL 2020 in the UAE. The SunRisers Hyderabad (SRH) team management decided to invest in the 19-year-old by buying him for his base price of INR 20 lakh at the auction.
Samad, hailing from Kashmir, scored 111 runs at an average of 22 and an impressive strike-rate of over 170. Though his contribution wasn't striking, he was seen as one of the exciting talents of the Twenty20 extravaganza.
After turning heads in his debut IPL season, Samad revealed how a crucial piece of advice from former India all-rounder Irfan Pathan helped him to improve. Irfan, who had spotted a 16-year-old Samad at a trial, told him that he should hit but a little selectively.
“After playing Under-19 one-dayers when we came back home, there was a camp set up, where Irfan bhai had come. Irfan bhai saw me batting, and he asked why I was not able to score the big runs. I told him that I lacked a little patience,” said Samad in a video shared by the Hyderabad franchise.
Irfan also told Samad that he's capable of donning the Indian jersey if he keeps scoring big runs. “He (Irfan) told me then that I should hit but a little selectively. He told me that if I look at scoring big runs, then I am capable of playing for India one day,” said Samad.
“Then I went to 3 places for IPL trials: Sunrisers Hyderabad, Rajasthan Royals and Mumbai Indians. When my name came on TV during the IPL auctions, and the Sunrisers Hyderabad picked me, I was very happy that day, as I was finally picked for the IPL,” concluded Samad.