KUWAIT CRICKET FELICITATE SENIOR CRICKETERS
In commemoration of Kuwait National & Liberation day 2012, Kuwait Cricket, in a memorable & praiseworthy gesture took the initiative to honor and felicitate some senior cricketers in Kuwait by honoring them with Lifetime achievement awards. In fact, it was a reunion of many cricketers of the past & present, along with new generation players, especially the Kuwait National Under 19 women’s team. The gathering of players was quite emotional as they shared the fond memories of the past. These players are known for their passion, dedication and wonderful contribution to the sport of cricket and have always been emotionally attached to the cause of upliftment of cricket & sportsmanship.
The evening was memorable and it started with the address of Irfan Adil who briefed the crowd about Kuwait Cricket’s noble intension of honoring cricketers of the past. Asad Baig, Director General, Kuwait Cricket was the chief guest on this occasion and Lifetime achievement mementos were handed over to Andrew Pinho , Bader Muneer, Kasim Hussein, Mohammed Yahya, Arif Hussein and Chris Amarasekara. In his short message, Mr. Asad Baig, Director General, Kuwait Cricket praised the invaluable services rendered by these veteran cricketers and urged them to play role models for the younger generation and to inspire them with positive advises and to share their cricketing experience.
Currently, Mohammed Yahya is the senior most cricketer residing in Kuwait who had the distinction to play first class cricket in Pakistan in the Qaide Azam trophy where he had brushed his talents against the famous Pakistani cricketers to the likes of Intikab Alam, Mustaq Mohammed, Hanif Mohammed etc. Arriving in Kuwait in 1958, joined Hawks Cricket club and later on moved to Cresent cricket club where he was the captain for a long time. In his long tenure with Commercial Bank, where he joined in 1969, Mohammed Yahya was the pillar of the Bank team and this stylish wicket keeper batsman had the opportunity to play against visiting MCC, New Zealand & the England teams. A cracking knock of 177 runs for Commercial bank remains the hightest score of this humble and soft spoken cricketer.
Mohammed Yahya receiving the Life time achievement award from Asad Baig
A passionate cricketer who plays cricket to win and win only. A good allrounder, gifted with great bat speed, Bader Muneer on a given day can bat and destroy the opposition bowling to pieces and a canny off spinner with a wide range of variety deliveries in his armoury. Represented Unity Cricket club and has participated in all the local tournaments where he exhibited his cricket talents.
Bader Muneer receiving the Life time achievement award from Rafique
A fiery right arm fast bowler who could swing the ball either ways was a terror to any batsmen playing cricket in the early 70’s. Such was the command that he had on the ball, Kazim Hussein could swing a match to his team’s favor which he had performed many a times. Having played cricket with many great test cricketers in India such as the all time great Indian batsman Sunil Gavaker, Kazim Hussein was the lead bowler for Unity cricket club in Kuwait.
Kassim Hussein receiving the Life time achievement award from Abdul Razzak
The tall and lanky Andrew Pinho learned and played cricket in the twin cities of Secunderabad and Hyderabad, India, under the guidance of late M.L. Jaisimha, who was a former Indian test player. In Hyderabad league, was fortunate to play against most of the national cricketers to the likes of Abbas Ali Baig, Abid Ali, Govind Raj, Jaisimha, and E.A.S Prasanna etc.
Having been in Kuwait since 1975, started playing for Unity Cricket club, Ahmadi and scored 1000 runs for Unity Cricket Club for two consecutive seasons. Also captured 50 wickets in a season on two consecutive seasons. Represented Casuals and played in local prestigious tournaments like Bawa Shield, Speed Bird Trophy, Jashanmal Trophy and four Nations Trophy.
Selected to play for the Kuwait National Team and toured India, Pakistan, England and Denmark in1979/80. Played against the visiting National Cricket Team of Pakistan, led by IMRAN KHAN at Ahmadi Cricket Grounds. Following year played against the visiting National Cricket Team of Pakistan led by JAVED MIANDAD at NC grounds. Also played against the visiting Air India Cricket Team led by Mohinder Amarnath at Ahmadi Cricket Grounds and against the visiting English Team led by Keith Fletcher and Mike Gating at Al Arabi Football Stadium.
Andrew Pinho receiving the life time award from Rafique
A gentleman cricketer who upholds the traditional term “Spirit of cricket” is Christopher Amarasekara (fondly called Chris) from Sri Lanka and very few who have watched him play cricket in Kuwait can forget the flashy and quick silver wicket keeper batsman who in the mid eighties played in the Hubara and Unity Leagues for Lanka Colts and Wings. Selected in 1988 to represent Kuwait Select XI against the visiting British Airways team led by Farokh Engineer which included the left arm England spinner Don Wilson. Awarded Man of the Match for a half century and 5 victims behind the stumps in that match and was complimented for his excellent keeping by none other than Farokh Engineer who himself was stumped by Chris. After invasion represented Hawks & Casuals and Lanka Lions in the Hubara and Unity Leagues. Still active in cricket, Chris has many cherishing and happy moments with the bat and as wicket-keeper.
Chris Amarasekara receiving the Life time achievement award from Merwyn Lewis
Arif Hussein, a stylish opening batsman represented the North Zone combined University team in India which included Kapil Dev, Arun Lal, Kirti Azad, Hari Gidwani etc., and later on represented the Central Zone U-22 team where he scored a match winning innings of 78 runs against West Zone which had the Indian batting legends Dilip Vengsarkar & Sandeep Patil. Blended with perfect batting technique, Arif Hussein played for Starlite cricket club in Kuwait and was known for his precise timing and nimble foot-work and had played in all the local tournaments like Bawa Shield, Speed Bird Trophy, Jashanmal Trophy and four Nations Trophy. Represented Kuwait Wanderers in an unofficial International tournament and was declared the best fielder of the tournament. Represented Kuwait against visiting Indian, Pakistan & England teams and while touring the Indian sub-continent had scored a scintillating century against Khar Gymkhana.