"The British-Asian talent pool is immense, I hope to see more players make it to the top level."
After an incredibly successful first year, the Talk Home Mobile Asian Cricket Awards (ACA) has returned for 2015, celebrating the extraordinary achievements of British Asians in the world of cricket.
Held in association with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and supported by the Club Cricket Conference, the awards will take place on October 13, 2015 at Lord’s, to be hosted by Nihal Arthanayake.
Following the Launch of the Asian Cricket Awards at Lord’s Media Centre in May 2015, all the nominations are in and the shortlist for this year has finally been announced.
For a second year running, England cricketing legend, Moeen Ali is up for the ‘Professional Player of the Year’ award.
The star who is also an ambassador for the Asian Cricket Awards, won the prestigious trophy in 2014.
Speaking about the Awards, Moeen said: “I’m honoured and privileged to be a part of the Asian Cricket Awards as an ambassador. I was fortunate enough to win the player award last year and am glad that I have helped in a small way to showcase the event.
“I am very proud of my heritage and honoured to be representing England – the British-Asian talent pool is immense, I really hope to see more players make it through to the top level.
“An event such as this, at Lord’s the home of cricket, really helps to give Asians that platform they deserve.”
Joining him in the ‘Professional Player’ category are Varun Chopra of Warwickshire CCC and the Birmingham Bears, and England player Adil Rashid of Yorkshire CCC. This has been a spectacular year for Rashid as he heavily featured in the one-day series against New Zealand and Australia.
For 2015 the Awards will welcome an incredible array of young emerging talent from all corners of the cricketing field.
Celebrating the contribution of women to the popular sport, the ‘Women in Cricket’ award sees contenders Hannaa Zaman (Glamorgan CCC, Cricket Wales), Halima Khan (ICC coach) and Sonia Odedra (Nottinghamshire CCC and England).
Halima is also nominated for a second award in the ‘Behind the Scenes’ category, alongside Kunwar Bansil (lead physiotherapist, Yorkshire CCC) and Dr Harjinder Singh (consultant in sport and exercise medicine, Leicestershire CCC, England Lions).
Co-founder of the Asian Cricket Awards, Jas Jassal BEM says: “The quality of nominations was unprecedented. The judging panel had a hugely difficult task in determining the shortlist from so many inspiring candidates from the Asian community in Britain.”
Sohail Rauf (chair, Welsh Asians CC), Shahidul Alan Ratan (Capital Kids Cricket) and Salma Bi (Worcestershire CCC) have all been nominated for the ‘Inspiration’ award. Salma is a previous winner of the ‘Women in Cricket’ award.
Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, Sajid Javid added: “I love cricket. I always dreamed of being at Lord’s and standing alongside some of the finest cricketers in the land and the Asian Cricket Awards allowed that dream to come true for me last year.
“I congratulate Inventive Sports on putting on this great event and look forward to another successful Awards ceremony in 2015.”
Here is the full Shortlist for the Asian Cricket Awards 2015:
Sajid Patel (founder, National Cricket League)
Azam Riyard (Crawley Eagles CC & Sussex Cricket in the Community)
Munir Ali (Moseley Ashfield CC)
Sohail Rauf (chair, Welsh Asians CC)
Shahidul Alan Ratan (Capital Kids Cricket)
Salma Bi (Worcestershire CCC)
PROFESSIONAL YOUNG PLAYER OF THE YEAR AWARD
Haseeb Hameed (Lancashire and England U19)
Kishen Velani (Essex CCC)
Aadil Ali (Leicestershire CCC)
WOMAN IN CRICKET AWARD
Hannaa Zaman (Glamorgan CCC, Cricket Wales)
Halima Khan (ICC coach)
Sonia Odedra (Nottinghamshire CCC and England)
COACH OF THE YEAR AWARD
Saba Nasim (ECB 2015 coach of the year)
Cookie Patel (ECB coach, England women)
Qasim Ali (Lancashire South Asian Talent Search, England Physical Disability Squad)
Kalika Mehta (BBC Sport Online)
Nikesh Rughani (BBC Sport, Sky Sports, BBC Asian Network)
Isa Guha (Test Match Special, IPL TV presenter, former England bowler)
BEHIND THE SCENES AWARD
Kunwar Bansil (lead physiotherapist, Yorkshire CCC)
Halima Khan (ICC coach)
Dr Harjinder Singh (consultant in sport and exercise medicine, Leicestershire CCC, England Lions)
ASIAN TEAM OF THE YEAR
Batley CC (Yorkshire)
Great Horton Church CC (Bradford)
Attock CC (Birmingham)
ECB DIVERSITY AWARD
Glamorgan CCC & Cricket Wales
PROFESSIONAL PLAYER OF THE YEAR AWARD
Varun Chopra (Warwickshire CCC, Birmingham Bears)
Moeen Ali (Worcestershire CCC and England)
Adil Rashid (Yorkshire CCC and England)
ECB’s Jane Hannah, says: “The ECB are delighted to once again be a partner for the awards.
“The nominees this year showed an amazing amount of dedication, commitment and success in the game from grassroots through to the professional level.
“It was a real challenge for the judging panel to select a shortlist from so many worthy nominees.”
The Asian Cricket Awards 2015 will take place on October 13, 2015 at Lord’s Cricket Ground.
Good luck to all the nominees!