The Cricket Wales/Glamorgan CCC BME (black and minority ethnic) project ‘Cricket Beyond Boundaries’ funded by Sport Wales ‘Calls4Action’ has been shortlisted in the top three for the best diversity project.
Sohail Rauf, chairman of Welsh Asians Cricket Club has been shortlisted for the Inspiration award and Hannaa Zaman for the Women in Cricket award. They will join other finalists, including England stars, such as Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid, at the ceremony at Lord’s Cricket Ground on October 13.
The Cricket Beyond Boundaries project runs pop-up cricket clubs across Cardiff, targeting areas not linked with mainstream cricket clubs.
The project, which is manged by Mark Frost, who has a dual role working for both Glamorgan CCC and Cricket Wales, alongside BME coordinator Ali Abdi, aims to tackle inequality by using sport to break down cultural and economic barriers between communities.
A highlight of the pop up cricket scheme was the Gilbert Cup, which was hosted at The SSE SWALEC during the televised Glamorgan versus Hampshire Royal London One-Day Cup match earlier this summer. Fifty young people from specific BME communities, enjoyed coaching sessions before the match, provided a guard of honour for the two teams and performed a play on the pitch demonstration during the interval.
Sohail Rauf is chairman of Welsh Asians Cricket Club, coaches the U9 and U11 teams, and is also secretary of the Glamorgan and Monmouthshire Cricket League, which he represents on the Cricket Wales Senior Council. He has worked with Glamorgan County Cricket Club and Cricket Wales to help them support the BME community and build stronger relations.
He is also involved in setting up the National Asian Cricket Council, which is looking to become the voice of the South Asian community dealing directly with the ECB (England and Wales Cricket Board).
Hanaa Zaman has coached cricket for over 10 years for Glamorgan CCC and Cricket Wales as well as the MCC (Marylebone Cricket Club) and touring the Channel Islands and Trinidad and Tobago.
Her coaching covers players from local communities, schools and at elite level, and she is keen to involve more girls, especially from the BME community.
“Having three nominees on the shortlist is a testament to the fantastic work being done within the BME community in Wales,” said Peter Hybart, chief executive of Cricket Wales.
“There is a huge amount of enthusiasm and cricketing talent across the communities in Wales and I’m delighted that this is being recognised with these shortlisted nominations.”