Burnley’s Qasim Ali was named Coach of the Year at the 2014 Talk Home Mobile Asian Cricket Awards at Lord’s last Tuesday.
Ali, who set up Lancashire County Cricket Club’s acclaimed South Asian Talent Search, was thrilled at the recognition.
“I am delighted to win this award,” said Ali, who is also head coach of the England Physical Disability Squad.
“This is a true honour recognising Asian cricket.
“I got into cricket from a very early age, but my first love was football.
“However, growing up my dad encouraged me to get out of the house and play sport – probably because I was always smashing balls inside the house!
“Fortunately we lived behind a park and getting hold of a bat and ball was not difficult for an Asian child.
“Asian cricket has a real history, tradition and passion that display what skills we have, what creativity we have, and it is great to be part of.”
And he feels the awards night highlighted some excellent work: “It is absolutely great from the organiser’s point of view to host a night where our achievements in cricket have been truly recognised.
“But the true winners aren’t the ones picking up the awards. They are the many people delivering in our communities and grassroots, contributing to the society of cricket.
“As a coach my philosophy is quite clear. It is to energise, be a resourceful person towards unleashing potential no matter what age.
“I just want to make that person the centre of attention and for that one-hour or three-hour session, for example, or even that 18-month programme, I want to fulfil that potential.
“The awards night has given Asian people recognition and a sense of belief that they are doing wonderful work out there.”