South Asian Cricket Academy wastes little time showing why it was needed | Emma John

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Programme aimed at helping British Asians progress in the county game bears early fruit with batsman Kashif Ali

Kashif Ali learned how to bat from Mohammad Yousuf and Joe Root. There were no coaches around when he and his friends played tapeball cricket, so he watched his favourite players on YouTube, and tried to imitate them. When he was 12, his family moved from Kashmir to Luton, and three years later he played his first hardball game. By the time he was 24 he had played in the 2nd XIs of six different first-class counties – without ever making it further.

Two weeks ago, Kashif finally made his first-class debut, for Worcestershire. Their County Championship match against Derbyshire was a low-scoring affair where the seamers ran rampant, and only four complete overs had been bowled when Kashif was hurried in at No 5, his team 23 for three. He put on almost a century stand for the fourth wicket with Jack Haynes, and top-scored in the innings with 52. “I didn’t think too much about it,” he says. “I just went in, played my shots, and backed myself.” The next day, Worcestershire signed him on a two-year deal. “It’s what I’ve wanted for quite a few years now, so that felt really good.”

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Written by Emma John
This news first appeared on https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2022/aug/08/south-asian-cricket-academy-wastes-little-time-showing-why-it-was-needed under the title “South Asian Cricket Academy wastes little time showing why it was needed | Emma John”. Bolchha Nepal is not responsible or affiliated towards the opinion expressed in this news article.