By Mirza Ijaz Rahman
In quite possibly the best start a new skipper can have, Zamal Khan, the new captain of Hillside Sports Club, scored unbeaten centuries (100* & 139*) to lead his team to victories in each of their first two games!
While Zamal is playing cricket in America for the first time, as he just arrived here in February of this year, his cricketing reputation clearly preceded him. He first started playing club cricket for the legendary Port Mourant Cricket Club as a 14 year old school boy. This is the same cricket club that produced such cricket stars as Kanhai and Kallicharran.
Later, Zamal played Under-17 cricket for Berbice, before representing Guyana on the Under-19 team in 2003. He would subsequently go on to represent the West Indies U-19 team in Sri Lanka, before playing in the ICC U-19 World Cup in 2004, which was held in Bangladesh. In 2005, Zamal served as the captain of Guyana’s U-19 team.
Zamal is known as an ambidextrous all-rounder, who is a hard-hitting left-handed batsman and a good right-handed off-spinner. In addition to playing youth cricket for Guyana and the West Indies, he has played for a number of clubs at the senior level, in Guyana, Trinidad, and Canada, prior to coming to America.
In fact, Zamal was picked in 2011 to represent Canada’s senior team on their tour to India, but was unable to make that trip due to other competing priorities. However, his batting prowess was clearly established in Canada, as he owns the record high score in the Scarborough Cricket Association, having blasted his way to 254 in June 2011, during a 46 overs match, with 18 fours and 20 sixes.
Three years after Zamal got married in Canada in 2010, he has chosen to come and live in America. It was a stroke of good fortune for Hillside when Zamal decided to join them. He has since added a distinctly Port Mourant flavor to the team, as he has recruited three of his fellow cricketers from his first club to play for Hillside. These new players are Rajendra Latcha, Jerald Mangal, and Boujhnarine Persaud, all of whom played for Port Mourant Cricket Club.
Zamal’s spectacular start has allowed Hillside to sprint to a 2-0 record to begin their 2013 season in the Eastern American Cricket Association (EACA). It also marks a transition in the Hillside franchise, which has been led for almost 35 years by the Juman brothers, with Bo Juman as its skipper.
While it is early in the season and the competition is expected to get stiffer in the coming weeks as the weather heats up, Zamal feels that he and his Hillside teammates will be ready for any challenges that come their way.
Additionally, as the captain of the oldest and one of the most successful teams in the EACA, he realizes the responsibility placed on his shoulders, which is to lead Hillside to its next championship. However, Zamal certainly seems capable of doing so, especially with his leadership from the front, as Captain Centurion!