Muscat: Amazing experience was what Oman's all-rounder Sufyan Mahmood opined after returning from Doha, where he played alongside World Stars against Qatar Stars in an exhibition cricket match.
This indeed was not for the first time Sufyan was brushing shoulders with top cricketers who have made their mark internationally. Sufyan had also been part of the event held in United Kingdom a few months ago.
"The experience was amazing playing alongside greats like Shahid Afridi, Abdur Razzaq, Saeed Ajmal, Wasim Jaffer and Mohammed Ashraful. It was like a dream come true. I am thankful to the International Cricketers Association to have given me the opportunities as the only Arab player," Sufyan, who is known for his all-round contribution for the Oman national cricket team, said.
"Never did I imagine to play alongside these players, especially those like Afridi, Razzaq, Ashraful, Wasim Jaffer and Lakshmipathy Balaji. These are the players whom I followed closely during my childhood," he said claiming that the experience has been 'worthy and mind boggling'.
"I am also proud to have been part of the playing eleven, the best moment for me was the catch I took off Ajmal's bowling. Excited I was when Afridi, Ajmal and Razzaq came to me and appreciated my effort," said Sufyan, who also mentioning that he did not get a chance to bowl, especially with the presence of fast bowlers Sohail Tanveer, Graham Onions and Abdur Razzaq.
The Qatar Cricket Fiesta was scheduled to have two matches (T20 and One-day), but unfortunately Qatar cancelled their National Day celebrations and the one-day match was shelved.
On what advise he got form the players, Sufyan said that Afridi, Ajmal, Onions and Ashraful had similar views.
"They advised me to play to my strength and keep the basics right. They also mentioned that cricket is a game of ups and downs but one has to keep working hard and not to give up," said Sufyan.
"Sharing the dressing room with these stars was good learning experience."
Sufyan while thanking the International Cricketers Association said: "I wish I can get more opportunities like this. It really helped me a lot and it's always good to share the stage with these stars."
"It has enhanced my cricketing knowledge on and off the field," said Sufyan, while thanking Oman Cricket for the support they have always given him.