“The awards will become a momentous event in the development of British Asians in the game."
On October 7, 2014, British Asians will descend onto the famous Lord’s Cricket ground to celebrate the British Asian community and their contribution towards cricket for the first ever Asian Cricket Awards (ACA) 2014.
The nominations for ACA have been announced and already highlight the outstanding achievements of those athletes that have worked hard in the sport across the UK.
Statistics from the England and Wales cricket board reveal that South Asian adults are 6 times more likely to be involved in cricket than white adults.
With that kind of following, the first ACA ceremony will surely prove to be a winner, given the love of cricket amongst the Asian community.
These include the likes of Ravi Bopara (Essex), and Moeen Ali (Worcestershire) who has attracted the eyes of many thanks to his incredible performances in the recent test and ODIs against India. Both are nominated for ‘Professional Player of the Year’.
The ceremony is also keen to focus on players across the different levels of cricket, and awards include, ‘Young Player of the Year’, ‘Amateur Player of the Year’ and ‘Behind the Scenes’.
Young faces include, Bilal Mohammed of Uxbridge CC, Simran Panesar from Warwickshire U19s, Kyme Tahirkheli from Yorkshire U15s, Ravi Patel and Kishen Velani.
It is not only the stars on the field that will be recognised at the ACA’s, but also celebrated are the coaches and media representatives alike for their tireless work.
The awards will also show appreciation of women in the sport through the ‘Woman in Cricket’ category. Nominees for ‘Woman in Cricket’ include Sidra Khan, Salma Bi, and Bhumika Doshi.
Awards co-founder, Jas Jassal BEM says: “The Asian Cricket Awards looks set to be an outstanding celebration of Asian excellence in cricket.”
“There is no doubting the level of talent among British Asians, from grassroots to the professional game.”
With this awards ceremony there is a great push for not only appreciating the British Asian community but also as a platform to encourage more British Asians to get involved in the sport and embrace everything cricket has to offer.
ACA co-founder Baljit Rihal says that: “Our hope is that the awards will become a momentous event in the awareness and development of British Asians in the game.”
The judging panel for the awards ceremony includes a host of greats from the game and those of a British Asian background who have worked to improve the community they are in.
Judges include former England captain Mike Gatting OBE, the Rt Hon. Baroness Warsi, ex-England player Min Patel and Wisden editor Scyld Berry.
Here is the full list of nominations for the Asian Cricket Awards 2014:
Gopi Raj (England Tamil Cricket League)
Omar Chaudhery (Sandwell Cricket League)
Saba Nasim (Essex Cricket Board; StreetChance)
Amateur Player of the Year
Bilal Mohammed (Uxbridge CC)
Simran Panesar (Warwickshire U19s)
Kyme Tahirkheli (Yorkshire U15s)
Professional Young Player of the Year
Ravi Patel (Middlesex, England Lions)
Kishen Velani (Essex)
Woman in Cricket
Sidra Khan (Lancashire)
Salma Bi (Worcestershire)
Bhumika Doshi (Lancashire)
Coach of the Year
Qasim Ali (Lancashire South Asian Talent Search, England Physical Disability Squad)
The late Numan Shabbir Syed (B.M.E. Development Centres Director)
Isa Guha (IPL TV Presenter, Former England Bowler)
Mihir Bose (Author, London Evening Standard, BBC)
Nikesh Rughani (BBC Five Live, Sky Sports, BBC Asian Network)
Behind the Scenes
Yasin Patel (Groundsman Batley CC)
Amjad Aziz (Vice-Chairman Birmingham Cricket League – Parks League)
Sajid Patel (founder, National Cricket League)
Asian Cricket Club of the Year
London Tigers (Inner-City London)
Attock CC (Birmingham)
Manningham Cricket Club (Bradford)
Naz Khan (chairman, Attock CC)
Soyfur Rahman (Founder, StreetChance)
The late Farid Karolia (Founder Mount CC, former Chairman Batley CC)
The Founders – Lifetime Achievement Award
This award will go to a person from the British Asian community who has made an outstanding contribution to the sport of cricket.
Professional Player of the Year
Moeen Ali (Worcestershire and England)
Varun Chopra (Warwickshire)
Ravinder Bopara (Essex and England)
Adil Rashid (Yorkshire and England)
The 2014 Asian Cricket Awards will be held at Lord’s Cricket ground on October 7th, for what we hope is just the beginning of further appreciation of British Asians in sport! Good luck to all the nominees!