MUZAMIL SHERZAD’S journey to the U-19 World Cup within the Caribbean is like no different.
Irrespective of runs and wickets, the story of the one-time informal tape-ball avenue cricketer in Afghanistan’s Jalalabad, who’s now an Ireland pacer and among the many greatest junior gamers from all over the world, is already worthy of a ebook, a documentary — or perhaps a characteristic movie.
Five years in the past, when Sherzad was simply 14, his mom paid a tout to take him to Ireland 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. Walking, operating, hiding within the forests, sleeping in parks and hitch-hiking, he would journey shut to eight,300 km in the hunt for his uncle and a greater life.
Once in Ireland, Sherzad, to his shock, discovered that cricket would assist him make associates and provides him a brand new id. And, in a outstanding change of a fortune, he would quickly turn out to be a World Cupper for his new nation.
Speaking to The Indian Express 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 continued U-19 event, Sherzad can’t assist however look again on all these powerful days on the highway. “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 received 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.
Good fortune would see him lastly attain Ireland however the ordeal was removed from over. His first night time 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 Ireland commercial a couple of fast-bowling expertise hunt, and shortly signed up by way of Facebook.
Albert van der Merwe, Cricket Ireland’s expertise pathway supervisor, says he and his colleagues on the expertise hunt, with 50 aspirants, had 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 Ireland U-19 crew.To fund his cricket tools, Sherzad joined his uncle on the quick meals joint. Van der Merwe says he received to find out 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 received 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 fulfill 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.”