Many people rushed forward to accept rewards for promoting the beautiful game of cricket but would they take 18 million dollars of their hard earned cash to make sure the sport create a footprint in the United States?
The answer, I am sure is an overwhelming no, as most of the officials serving cricket these days look to see what they can get out of it. Not Mahammad Ahmed Qureshi, the Fort Lauderdale businessman who has taken to cricket administration on a full-time basis after spending 18-million US dollars over the last nine years in promoting cricket.
Qureshi, an affable fan came to the United States to study many years ago, leaving a very comfortable life in Pakistan, where his father was a senior official in the Customs department. He wanted initially to study medicine but soon realised that business was the order of the day and enrolled in that segment as a result.
He was called back to Pakistan by his father after a while and had to return. The United States kept uppermost in his mind and he was a forlorn figure in his native land. Upon the unfortunate passing of his father, Maq as he is affectionately known left Pakistan and returned to America.
He started to get involve in retail business and was soon on his way to financial freedom.
After years in the business world, Qureshi has now passed on the business baton to his children and has taken up a bat. He lives and breathes cricket and has a burning desire to see the sport among the recognised others in Uncle Sam’s land.
Maq had an enormous task on his hands to get cricket recognised in the Broward County area.
He sat and discussed his idea with his long time friend and a serial entrepreneur Mohammed Amin Markatia and they slowly started to make a move in the right direction.
Playing with members of the Pakistani, Indian and West Indian diaspora on weekend matches was not enough and these guys decided to start organising their own cricket matches. Maq saw the problems in the administration of US cricket and decided that the sport would not suffer. Without trying to replace the United States Cricket Association (USACA) he founded Cricket Council USA (CCUSA) as a body who would work to assist in the development of cricket.
After going around and speaking to former and current cricketers living in the area, Maq decided on the formation of the very popular US Open T20 cricket series. This year was the eight edition and the most successful of them all. From the very onset Maq decided on giving decent prizes and the awards
at the end of the tournament normally totals US$100,000.
More than keeping his showcase tournament,
Maq and CCUSA has decided to go off the field and over the years, they have been hosting cricket camps, so much so that now CCUSA runs an academy which is proving to be a nursery for young cricketers looking to represent America at international cricket.