Fasil leads from the front as Newham take National title!
PUBLISHED: 17:00 22 April 2016
Coach Zaheer Daleel astonished with what his talented youngsters have achieved
After playing a captain’s innings in the final, Newham College’s Fasil Rahman revealed his delight at helping his team win the National Association of College Championships last weekend.
The talented cricketers concluded an unbeaten league season and a regional victory last month by beating off other strong colleges to take the title.
Rahman and his fellow pupils travelled to Newcastle-upon-Tyne for the tournament and defeated a Birmingham team representing Midlands in the final.
Newham College, representing London and Essex, triumphed with one ball left to be crowned the best college in the country.
“I don’t know what to say! We’ve won every competition apart from this and this is my last year at the college so it’s unbelievable,” said skipper Rahman.
“The boys did great, everything the coach wanted us to, so it’s well-deserved. We have to say a big thank you to all the staff at college, they’re amazing.”
Coach Zaheer Daleel admitted it was ‘ridiculous’ that his players managed to win the competition which lasted three days.
He called on the borough boys to savour the moment, adding: “What these guys are doing is incredible. To compete at this level is hard enough, but to come away with the trophy is just plain ridiculous!
“They have just beaten teams who have thousands of pounds worth of investment with the latest technology and professional coaching to help them. This may not happen again.
“I want the college and players to really enjoy and celebrate this, some players have already said it is the best day of their lives, and that sums it all up.”
Newham’s squad, containing pupils studying Engineering, IT and Travel & Tourism amongst other things, were put in Group A against Midlands, Somerset and Lancashire and won every match.
Yorkshire were victorious in every fixture in Group B and looked set to reach the final. But Midlands knocked them out in the last four before Newham took on hosts North East.
The Middlesbrough team, who were backed by a partisan crowd, were no match for Daleel’s players, though, and the Londoners reached the final.
A thriller occurred between the two Group A rivals, with Newham picking up several early wickets and restricting Midlands to 25.
But the run chase was far from comfortable as star batsman and player of the tournament Zeeshan Khan was dismissed in the first over of Newham’s reply.
Two more players lost their wickets, before captain Rahman played a mature innings to get them back in contention.
With two wickets remaining and six needed off the last over, it was left to the newest member of the squad to stand up and be counted.
Newham scrambled a single off every ball until the youngest player of the tournament Arsalan Khan, 16, hit the winning runs with one ball to spare.
It sparked jubilant scenes as the Newham boys crowned themselves the best college in the country, Daleel added: “We have won so many competitions over the years, but this tops them all.
“Our competition used to be just in Newham and recently extended to London and Essex, but now we have stepped up another level and showed our true ability.
“Some of my players only joined the team last year and we also fielded the youngest player in the tournament in Arsalan Khan, who joined the college to play cricket for Newham like his two older brothers.
“For him to hit the winning runs and be a national champion within months of joining the college is a testament to the effort we have all put in.
“The team has been invited by Essex CC to their next home game to be presented with medals and trophies during the interval. It’s a great time to be a part of Newham College’s Cricket team.”
Squad: Fasil Rahman, Zeeshan Khan, Muhammad Rahim, Atesaam Syed, Arsalan Khan, Irfan Guthus, Shafi Uddin, Hamza Omar, Nasratullah Ahmad, Bakhtiyar Khan.
If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Newham Recorder. Click the link in the orange box above for details.