A University of Wolverhampton student has been bowled over after being selected to represent England in the indoor cricket World Cup.
Ali Tariq, from Wolverhampton, will be heading to Dubai in September for the 2017 World Indoor Cricket Federation (WICF) World Cup.
He will be competing for the England 21-and-under men’s team against Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Sri Lanka, India, Singapore, Malaysia and the United Arab Emirates.
The 21-year-old graduates this year after combining elite cricket with a BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science degree at the University’s Institute of Sport.
A rigorous process involving eight intense training sessions led to Ali’s selection, and he will join the England team at the tournament from 16-23 September 2017.
The Wolverhampton Cricket Club player said: “It feels like an honour to represent England in the sport that I love. After being brought up from a young age playing cricket, I feel I have accomplished my dream. I have always fantasised about having an official top with my name on the back and now I can’t believe this is really happening.”
Ali continued: “Australia, New Zealand and South Africa are classed as the world’s top three teams, with Australia as reigning champions across all four divisions. With the addition of new nations to the tournament, the chances for England to be successful are greater. Nations such as Malaysia, Singapore and the UAE are fairly new opponents and are considered weaker compared to the top three. It would be expected that England beat the weaker opponents and bag some bonus points in the games against the top three nations.
“England has never won an indoor World Cup across any category. They have reached the knockout stages a handful of times but have never been successful. We feel very confident this year and maybe this year could be ours!”
Dr Chris Sellars, Deputy Director of the University’s Institute of Sport, said: “We are all very proud and excited for Ali, this is a great opportunity for him to experience an exciting international tournament and in doing so represent his country. Hopefully he will be able to apply some of his Sport & Exercise Science skills developed on his course! We all wish him the very best of luck!”
The 2017 World Indoor Cricket Federation (WICF) World Cup will take place in Dubai’s newly renovated Insportz Club from 16-23 September.