By Emdad Rahman :
The historic Kia Oval provided the venue for a community street cricket tournament for young players in London.
Adults and youngsters came together as six teams battled it out to be crowned champions at the home of Surrey Cricket Club.
Khoyrul Shaheed from Human Relief Foundation added: “Sport beings people together and cricket is no exception. It’s great that young and old have united to enjoy a great day of cricket at one of the world’s most famous cricket arenas. The added bonus is that we have all raised awareness of the importance to be involved in good charitable causes and to remember those less fortunate. Human Relief Foundation believes in supporting community causes and this has been a hugely enjoyable day. Thank you to Surrey CC and The Kia Oval for the support.”
Throughout the day players of various ages and ability took to the nets to practise and play. “I was nervous because I have never played before,” said Talha,11, who will now be training under the tutelage of head coach Ayaz Karim at Scintilla Cricket Club, the reigning Essex County Cricket League Premier Division Champions. “However, my team looked after me and some of the great players from Bromley and Tooting gave me good advice and bowled easy. I was able to bat for longer and this made me more confident.”
A pulsating final saw Mixed Stars XI narrowly defeat an established Bromley College outfit to lift the trophy.
Surrey CC’s Mahbubul (Mabs) Alam was the tournament chief. Alam is also a community coach, performance analysts and leads on Street Chance for young adults over the age of 16. He said: “The level of cricket we have seen today has been mixed in terms of ability and that’s a positive thing. We have seen players of great ability mix it with total newcomers. The ethos has been to enjoy and savour street cricket, to make friends, and I have particularly taken pleasure in watching those with greater ability take the foot off the pedal when playing the total newcomers. It has promoted the self confidence of these participants.
“Street cricket is a gear leveller and it has been a pleasure to watch everyone play, participate and enjoy the day. I’m proud that we have hosted the tournament at The Kia Oval and congratulations to Mixed Stars XI on their win.”