By Sarika Reuben
“The best way to make your dreams come true is to wake up”, that is the auto response you get from Azrudeen Mohamed’s (“Andy”) instant messenger. And, this is a young man that wakes up everyday and plays hard on and off the cricket field.
Andy is the new captain of the Eastern American Cricket Association Under 19 League Team (the “EACA U19”). He is also the captain of Metem Meer Zorg United (“MMZU”). At age 17 he is a senior at Forest Hills High School with good grades and will be graduating in June. He has prom coming up, but is not sure whether he will attend as he puts it: I am old fashion and not into partying.
On the cricket field he is a left-hand upper order and opening batsman and his bowling style is left hand orthodox. His highest batting score is 128 not out and his best bowling score is 10-2-28-3. His favorite cricket teams are West Indies and Jamaica. And, he admires Chris Gayle for his humbleness and “no fear” character.
As the Captain of MMZU he is playing with a team that consists of family members with a few exceptions. With the EACA U19 he is captaining a team that he is not familiar with as yet. However, he is sure that everything will fit into place as the season prolongs and as he is more aware of the capabilities of his team mates. Captaining both team feels normal to Andy. Captaining MMZU he feels no pressure and is guided by his uncle, Ajaz Asgarally, a former Guyana National Under-19 player, who is also a father figure in his life. Even though he is young, he has gained the respect of both his teams. He was also chosen to play in the Mayor’s Cup but chose to go with EACA U19.
This Captain’s goals for this season is simple “win all the championships and reach 800 runs at the end of the season” He feels more mature in his batting this year and with the added responsibilities will push himself to always play hard for his teams. He hopes that the players of the EACA U19 team will make the New York Under 19 Team and then go on to the USA Pro Team.
Computer Engineering or Physical Therapy are the options that Andy is weighing as he will be starting college. He will be starting at LaGuardia Community College and then off to Queens College. He would like to one day play for the USA Pro Team and be successful and also have a career outside of cricket.
Andy has started to play cricket as soon as he started walking. Apparently one of his cousins gave him a pink plastic bat, and there was not turning back. He is raised by a single mother whom he adores and according to him makes the best stew chicken and custard. His entire family is 100 percent behind him and loves cricket, from the “ladies to the babies.” And if he could be any cartoon character it would be iron man.
I am not sure how Andy will survive in a circus but he is doing a great job juggling and balancing school, homework, cricket, cricket practice and chores at home – but don’t ask him to do the dishes.
Hardworking, respected by his peers, humble, great sense of humor combined with good morals, Azrudeen Mohamed is on the right track.