Unleashing Unearthed Talent
On Marc h 28th 2014, Lord’s Cricket Ground hosted the launch of the inaugural ‘Talk Home Mobile Asian Cricket Awards’, founded by Baljit Rihal and Jas Jassal. It will take place at the home of cricket later this year. Baljit spoke of how delighted he is to have the support of the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).
“We are delighted to have the support of the ECB and their members on the judging panel. We aspire to be inclusive in the whole nomination process. It will be a star studded event with dignitaries from the world of cricket as well as a number of celebrities. There will be an anticipated audience of over 500 people attending and is an opportunity to witness first-hand the British Asians in cricket”
Former England captain Mike Gatting, now managing director of the ECB’s Cricket Partnerships Programme said, “The South Asian community makes an enormous contribution to cricket in England and Wales and these awards are a fantastic way of recognising and rewarding individual achievements. The ECB is pleased to be involved in the creation of the initiative and we look forward to being part of an exciting inaugural awards evening”.
Jas, who was recently honoured with a BEM for services to community sport, commented on how important such events are within the community.
“The Queen’s BEM honour was fantastic and it was a great feeling to be honoured for supporting community sports. This is something that I am extremely passionate about and now working on the Asian Cricket Awards is something that I really care about – the BEM for me recognises collective community effort. The aim of the awards is to celebrate the successful integration of the British Asian Community through cricket”
On how it will provide a vital platform he said, “It will give young people an opportunity and stage to talk about their journey, become role models and inspire the future generation. These awards are two-fold; firstly they look at individual journeys, pathways that people have had to cross. But they also look at future generations that might want to pursue a career within the industry. Having role models gives them an opportunity to talk and learn from them which paints a pathway to success”.
In attendance were high profile dignitaries such as Senior Minister of State, Sayeeda Warsi, ambassador and former first-class cricketer, now CEO of the sporting charity ‘Chance to Shine’, Wasim Khan MBE in addition to former England Cricketer, now TV pundit, Isa Guha.
“The Asian Cricket Awards provides an important opportunity to celebrate the success of Asians in cricket. The high profile nature of these awards will help create role models for young people entering the game, which will only help to continue the success of Asians in the game. I am proud to support these important Awards” (Wasim Khan, MBE).
“This is a massive step towards the ECB’s commitment to the Asian community and illustrates their commitment to the cause. It is an excellent platform for young Asians to be recognised and to get out there as well as paving a pathway for untouched talent” (Isa Guha).
Being inclusive and using the power of sport to bring communities together is a common goal amongst all those involved within this cause. In addition to promoting cricket and acknowledging contribution to the sport, improving accessibility is high on the agenda of the ECB. Following the success of the Asian Football Awards 2013, this event will aim to pave the way for recognising role models and unleash unearthed talent. Representatives from the professional game will be brought together on October 7th at Lords Cricket Ground in what will be a magnificent evening.
Nominations open May 1st 2014