Mahammad Qureshi batting at 1.35am in the morning in Sunrise, Florida.
Muslims the world over are observing the holy month of Ramadhan but at the same time the cricket fever has caught on and the two seem to be working hand in hand for muslims in Fort Lauderdale, USA.
Mahammad Ahmed Qureshi (MAQ) who is currently fasting has decided to launch the MAQ cricket league in Fort Lauderdale for members of the mosque located ISFS Masjid grounds in Sunrise. What is so special about this tournament is the fact that matches get off at 12am and finishes at 4am. There are two matches each night and it is played with ‘tape ball’. Each game is played as a T10 and the crowds have been very good.
According to Maq :”The muslim brothers in this mosque love the sport of cricket, so since we are coming here every night to pray and break fast, we decided since it is a joyous occasion, that we must celebrate and what better way to celebrate than to play cricket. I am very happy with what we have organised here and the crowds have been amazing.
After all our prayers and the eating and stuff is over, the guys mill around for a while and as soon as the security clears the car park, the cricket teams assemble to play. A number of teams within the mosque have registered to play and the tournament has been very exciting indeed.
When asked as to the timing of the matches, Maq said :”Well given all the commitments that we have in terms of our prayers and feeding the brothers and sisters of the mosque, we told ourselves that the best time to get the matches on the way would be 12am. People are still wide awake and ready to go out there and play cricket. You can see the enthusiasm for the sport and a lot of families are out here taking in this and this is important to us.”
Qureshi came from Karachi many years ago and settled in South Florida, where he has been pushing the development of cricket. He is the chairman of Cricket Council USA (CCUSA) and runs the very popular US Open T20 cricket tournament. Added to this he has started the US Cricket Academy and his son Zishawn played with the Guyana Amazon Warriors in the last CPL.