Abdul Samad, who was born on October 28, 2001, came to prominence as a result of his effortless big-hitting prowess. After Irfan Pathan spotted him in the nets in Jammu & Kashmir as a coach, Samad has gone from strength to strength.
Abdul Samad made his debut for Jammu & Kashmir against Nagaland during the Syed Mushtaq Ali 2018-19 season, scoring an unbeaten 76 off 51 balls. Later that year, on September 27, 2019, he made his List A debut for Jammu & Kashmir in the 2019–20 Vijay Hazare Trophy. He made his first-class debut for J&K in the 2019–20 Ranji Trophy on December 9, 2019.
During J&K’s Ranji Trophy match against Assam, he made his first-class century. He hit an unbeaten 103 off 72 balls, including eight sixes and seven fours. His second century (128) came against Jharkhand, and it was more than run-a-ball this time.
He scored 592 runs in ten first-class matches at an excellent average of 39.46 and a strike rate of 112.97. What was most noteworthy was his 36 sixes, the most by any player this season, which helped J&K reach the Ranji Trophy quarter-finals for just the second time. He came close to leading his state to the tournament’s semi-finals, but fell 30-runs short of Karnataka’s first-inning tally.
Abdul Samad was snatched up by Sunrisers Hyderabad for Rs 20 lakh, making him just the fourth cricketer from J&K to receive an IPL deal, following Parvez Rasool, Manzoor Dar, and Rasikh Salam.
VVS Laxman called Jammu and Kashmir coach Milap Mewada in November 2019 to see if he knew of any good young players Sunrisers Hyderabad could shortlist for trials ahead of the IPL auction in December. Abdul Samad’s name was immediately given by the coach, and the rest, as they claim, is history. Samad will practise with some of the best in the game, including David Warner, Kane Williamson, Jonny Bairstow, among others.
During a camp for the state Ranji Trophy squad, Irfan Pathan, the player-cum-mentor of J&K, spotted Samad at the Science College ground in Jammu. His family comes from a middle-class background. Samad’s mother is a homemaker, and Farooq is a physical-education teacher at a government school in Jammu. Tayyab, his older brother and a former cricketer, is currently pursuing a master’s degree in physical education at Nagpur University.