World Stars versus Qatar Stars
Cricket in the Middle East is nothing new but a T20 match of this magnitude in Qatar is an exciting prospect for a region more attuned to football.
To assemble players like Shahid Afridi, Saeed Ajmal, Abdul Razzaq and Graham Onions is no mean feat and the organisers – Pro Event Qatar and the International Cricketers Association – should take a bow. Inevitably, with their superior player power, the World Stars beat the Qatar Stars but it was a close-run thing, the margin being just two runs.
Played at the Asian Town cricket stadium, in front of a vocal crowd, the match was the brainchild of Sajjad Chowdhury, the director of Pro Event Qatar. Without Chowdhury’s passion, enthusiasm and ambition, it is unlikely that a match of such magnitude would have taken place.
Chowdhury has been staging events in Qatar since 2014 with plans to build a cricket academy to international specifications. More games like this one would go some way to supporting his vision which has the game of cricket, within Qatar and outside, at its heart.
One enthusiastic participant was Sufyan Mahmood, an all-rounder from Oman, one of the gulf countries where cricket is a growing sport. Selected to play for the World Stars, Sufyan didn’t bowl or bat but he did take a fine, running catch off Saeed Ajmal.
“The experience was amazing playing alongside greats like Shahid Afridi, Abdur Razzaq, Saeed Ajmal, Wasim Jaffer and Mohammed Ashraful,” said Sufyan afterwards.
“It was like a dream come true. I am thankful to the International Cricketers Association to have given me the opportunities as the only Arab player.”
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