Asian National Cricket Council facing MCC at Lord’s may improve turnout, says chairman Gulfraz Riaz | cricket news

It was a historic day at the House of Cricket on Wednesday as the NACC played the MCC on the main ground for the first time; two T20 matches were contested with NACC Women playing their MCC counterparts before NACC Men played MCC Men

Last update: 05/04/22 7:11 pm

For the first time two British South Asian teams, both men's and women's, have been playing MCC teams at Lord's

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For the first time two British South Asian teams, both men’s and women’s, have been playing MCC teams at Lord’s

For the first time two British South Asian teams, both men’s and women’s, have been playing MCC teams at Lord’s

Asian National Cricket Council Chairman Gulfraz Riaz says the organization’s teams hosted by the MCC at Lord’s can contribute “a great deal” to fostering participation and inclusion in the sport.

It was a historic day at the House of Cricket on Wednesday as the NACC played the MCC on the main ground for the first time.

Two T20 matches were contested with NACC Women playing their MCC counterparts before NACC Men played MCC Men, and the weather didn’t spoil the proceedings after last year’s match was washed out by rain.

The aim of the NACC is to support and promote the interests of the South Asian cricket community and to develop relationships with the ECB, county boards and other cricket groups.

“It can go a long way,” Riaz said. sky sports.

“The MCC, with all its rich history and heritage, came to us about five years ago, so this journey with the MCC has been that long.”

The NACC’s visit to Lord’s comes as the ECB continues to carry out an action plan to tackle racism and discrimination in cricket, after a parliamentary committee found earlier in the year that racism in sport is ” deeply rooted.”

The damning verdict from the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) select committee came after Azeem Rafiq gave emotional testimony about the racist abuse he faced during two terms in Yorkshire beginning in 2008 and they ended in 2018.

“I think we have to be realistic,” Riaz added. “Cricket had a problem, it got the spotlight and rightly so, and we’re learning from that. Once we’ve learned what we need to do, it’s about strong action.”

“Now I am confident that all the key stakeholders buy into what needs to be done to improve cricket and the communities and all the communities, not just the South Asian community, I think we will be more united as a cricket family.”

NACC Women captain Minahil Zahoor, who is also Diverse Communities Officer at Warwickshire County Cricket Club, hopes the games at Lord’s can inspire others from the South Asian community to invest in cricket.

Lord's opened its doors for a special Ramadan celebration as cricket looks to reconnect with the Muslim community after the racism scandal that has engulfed the sport in the last year.

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Lord’s opened its doors for a special Ramadan celebration as cricket looks to reconnect with the Muslim community after the racism scandal that has engulfed the sport in the last year.

Lord’s opened its doors for a special Ramadan celebration as cricket looks to reconnect with the Muslim community after the racism scandal that has engulfed the sport in the last year.

Zahoor, who was born in Pakistan before moving to the UK as a teenager, said Sky sports news: “It was fun. I haven’t played Lord’s before, so it’s been amazing.

“Women don’t get as many opportunities to play at Lord’s, whereas the NAAC has never played at Lord’s, so specifically for ethnic minorities it’s a huge boost.

“You will see a lot of role models and you will want to be here next time.

“I played for Scotland from Under 13 through to senior level with Warwickshire and it’s been positive. I’ve had plenty of opportunities to play and I’m proud of that.”

On his work in Warwickshire, Zahoor added: “My role is to get ethnic minorities involved in cricket at a grassroots level.

“Softball cricket, glow-in-the-dark cricket, just to attract women and ethnic minorities to cricket, whether they end up playing at Lord’s or just in their gardens.

I am seeing an increase [in participation]. We’ve seen thousands come in and just have fun and enjoy cricket.”

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