Sunday, February 18, 2018

Zaheer Ali wants to develop youth with windball team


DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVE: Members of the Zaheer Ali XI windball cricket team pose with founder Zaheer Ali, standing fifth from left, during Monday night’s launch at Pizza Hut, Curepe. The team will play their first match tonight at Bamboo Settlement Number 1. —Photo: ROGER SEEPERSAD

Mark Fraser

More than just another windball cricket side. 

That is what former Trinidad and Tobago cricket Zaheer Ali want to create as he formally launched the Zaheer Ali XI windball cricket team on Monday night at Pizza Hut in Curepe.

But Ali insisted that the windball cricket team is intended to be more than what its name suggests.

The Zaheer Ali XI will play their first match together in the Bamboo Settlement Number 1 windball tournament tonight in Bamboo, but Ali has much more in store for his players.

He said this is just the beginning.

“This also has the objective of building communities, fostering youth development and individual plans is not only about sport,” said Ali.

“My intention was not to choose the best windball cricketers in the country. In planning the team I decided to bring youth (together) with experience and a development initiative,” he explained, urging his players to be leaders in their communities.

“In Trinidad and Tobago, today we are faced with a challenge. There is no one entity that is responsible for bringing safety and security or prosperity. 

“We have to put our hands up and say I am going to be a leader in my community...Be leaders in your communities,” he said.

Ali stated that great leaders like Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela were not instant success.

Also attending the launch was assistant commissioner of police Earl Gonzales, who commended the initiative which he said is one way of curbing the crime situation in the country.

“I am very happy to be at an occasion like this. Things like these are going to keep the youths away from this world of crime that is taking place in T&T.

“I am hoping that more communities throughout Trinidad and Tobago, especially in high risk areas, will have initiatives like these to make that contribution and impact.”