Warwickshire’s Pakistan international Hassan Ali surprised players at the Club’s Midnight Ramadan League as he joined them for an iftar before offering some bowling tips.
Ali – who’s taken eight wickets in two games, including the decisive final wicket in Sunday’s win over Kent – has been an instant hit both on and off the field since arriving at Edgbaston earlier this month.
And when the 28-year-old learned about the popular Ramadan League – held throughout the Muslim holy month at Edgbaston’s indoor centre – he was keen meet the players and find out more about the project.
The league offers 16- to 24-year-olds the chance to play competitive indoor cricket from 9pm to midnight after breaking their fast.
Ali joined players for an iftar – the breaking of the fast sundown ceremony – before taking in some of the action and coaching.
He said: “It’s a brilliant idea. Playing cricket in daylight hours during Ramadan, when many of these boys and young men are fasting, would be very difficult as they can’t rehydrate or take on food.
“And then after dark there wouldn’t be many places available for them to play cricket.
“Warwickshire open up their cricket centre late at night so these guys can play the sport they love during Ramadan and receive some great coaching.”
The Ramadan League has gone from strength to strength since launching in 2021 and this year eight teams of six players entered to compete in a round robin format league twice a week.
Eaton Gordon from the Warwickshire Cricket Board runs the project. He said: “We want to make cricket and Edgbaston accessible to everyone…and that means having to think more creatively about the programmes we run.
“The Ramadan Midnight League is an example of this. We’re staying open late at night to accommodate players who are observing Ramadan, we’ve invested in coaches to deliver the sessions and provide travel to and from players’ homes.”