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HomeSportsFrom Afghan avenue to Irish U-19 crew, an 8,000 km-long story

From Afghan avenue to Irish U-19 crew, an 8,000 km-long story

MUZAMIL SHERZAD’S journey to the U-19 World Cup within the Caribbean is like no different.

Regardless of runs and wickets, the story of the one-time informal tape-ball avenue cricketer in Afghanistan’s Jalalabad, who’s now an Eire pacer and among the many finest junior gamers from all over the world, is already worthy of a e book, a documentary — or perhaps a characteristic movie.

5 years in the past, when Sherzad was simply 14, his mom paid a tout to take him to Eire the place his uncle labored at a quick meals outlet. All he had with him was some home-cooked meals and 50 Euros.

For the subsequent 8-9 months, Sherzad, together with different immigrants, crossed the borders of Pakistan, Iran, Turkey, Bulgaria, Serbia, Croatia, Italy and France. Strolling, operating, hiding within the forests, sleeping in parks and hitch-hiking, he would journey shut to eight,300 km looking for his uncle and a greater life.

As soon as in Eire, Sherzad, to his shock, discovered that cricket would assist him make buddies and provides him a brand new id. And, in a exceptional change of a fortune, he would quickly turn out to be a World Cupper for his new nation.

Chatting with The Indian Categorical on Zoom from Georgetown in Guyana, Sherzad, who misplaced his father on the age of 5, stated: “After a family dispute over property, my mother got in touch with an agent and packed me off. My life was under threat.”

From the consolation of his lodge room for the continuing U-19 match, Sherzad can’t assist however look again on all these robust days on the street. “At one point, I was in a camp trying to cross into Croatia for a number of months. From there, I travelled by truck for three-four days and arrived in Milan,” he stated.

At Cherbourg in France, he obtained into one other truck that was on a ferry. “It was cold and dark. I was now on my own, this was the scariest night of the long journey. After a few hours, I could make out that the truck was not on the ferry anymore and was moving. I banged on the side. The driver stopped, and when he opened the back door, I jumped out,” he stated.

Success would see him lastly attain Eire however the ordeal was removed from over. His first evening in Dublin was spent in a park as a result of he didn’t know the place his uncle stayed. In one other stroke of luck, the boy who couldn’t converse English met an Asian man who gave him instructions to a refugee centre in Dublin. “A child protection agency placed me with a family, until they found my uncle. I then went to live with him in Tipperary,” he says.

Sherzad’s brush with cricket occurred two years in the past when he noticed a Cricket Eire commercial a few fast-bowling expertise hunt, and shortly signed up by Fb.

Albert van der Merwe, Cricket Eire’s expertise pathway supervisor, says he and his colleagues on the expertise hunt, with 50 aspirants, have been impressed by Sherzad’s pure expertise.

“The first time I met Sherzad was at a Cricket Ireland Talent Identification Programme in October 2019. They bowled at some of the academy batsmen, and we liked what we saw in Muzamil. We took some videos and showed it to the academy manager, and Muzamil was invited to some sessions. At this stage, we didn’t really know the backstory,” says van der Merwe, who’s in Guyana with the Eire U-19 crew.
To fund his cricket gear, Sherzad joined his uncle on the quick meals joint. Van der Merwe says he obtained to learn about Sherzad’s journey after he joined the academy. “It has given me a glimpse into what he must have gone through. His journey to Ireland is something I struggle to wrap my head around. The furthest I went from home on my own as a 14-year-old was to the shop or to school,” he stated.

Sherzad, a die-hard fan of Virender Sehwag and a Bollywood follower, is able to make a reputation on the World Cup. He says the presence of many Afghanistan gamers, together with their prime star leggie Rashid Khan, in Sunrisers Hyderabad has obtained him within the IPL, too. He has already picked up Hindi from movies just like the Aamir Khan-starrer “3 Idiots”.

And but, past cricket, Sherzad has an unfulfilled want: he desires to satisfy his household, mom, two brothers and a sister. “I never thought that I would be playing cricket for Ireland at a World Cup. I wish my mother and siblings could watch me play. I miss them a lot. I am trying to get them to Ireland. I’ve applied for their visas. Let’s see what the future has in store.”

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