LSC Connect: Hi Syed, thank you for meeting me today. Can you tell me a little about your background?
Syed: I was born in Kuwait and moved to Pakistan during the Kuwait-Iraq war in 1992. I grew up in Pakistan where I completed my primary and secondary education.
LSC Connect: How did you get into cricket?
Syed: Pakistan is a cricket-dominant country. It was always going to be cricket as a sport for me as I watched cricket being played in grounds, streets and even in the backyards. This got me interested in this sport.
LSC Connect: What is your earliest memory of cricket?
Syed: One of my earliest cricket memories is when we used to play in a very small piece of land. It was around 20 of us, I was one of the youngest and was always being told by the others that I couldn’t play. This used to make me angry and that is when I started working on my game and improved it from there.
During my time in Pakistan when I was part of Pakistan U-19 team I played with a few internationals including against Indian junior team that had players like Virat Kohli, Cheteshwar Pujara, Piyush Chawala and many current Pakistani cricket stars including Junaid Khan (who I captained), Ahmed Shahzad, Mohammad Amir, and many more.
LSC Connect: When did you first come to the UK and why did you choose LSC London?
Syed: I came to the UK in 2007 to complete my studies. I was referred by a family friend who told us that not only was the standard of education high at LSC London but it was also affordable.
LSC Connect: During your time at LSC, you captained the LSC cricket team for six years. The LSC cricket team was extremely successful during this time, when it went undefeated for five seasons in the BUCS league. What do you think were the main reasons for this success?
Syed: I was extremely lucky to captain the LSC cricket team for 5 years. Cricket is a team game where you need involvement from all the players, coaches and management. I would confidently say LSC staff including Tim Andradi and Peter Kisho were very passionate about their cricket team and always encouraged us play to win. I cannot forget to mention Guru Srinivasan, who has not only been our first point of contact on the LSC staff, but also understood our needs and supported us throughout the cricket season in training, checking the opposition teams, and planning with the coach. And for LSC cricket to succeed in the future he would need to carry on playing his part with the passion he has been doing for last few years.
We have been provided with the best practice facilities, gear and on top of that one of the best coach, Clive Radley (Former England International) to improve our skills. With all these facilities on our side, the players were very passionate and eager to play and win which is why we were so successful.
On the basis of my individual performance, I was given a chance to represent Team GB in the campus cricket tournament (University Cricket World Cup) which took place in Sri Lanka in 2013. It was not only an enjoyable experience, but also a learning experience for me.
LSC Connect: How did you combine playing cricket with your studies?
Syed: It has always been difficult for me to play cricket alongside studies but I would say I have been so use to it since school life that it was part of my daily routine and I just had to manage my timetable.
LSC Connect: What have you been doing since you graduated and do you still manage to play cricket these days?
Syed: Since graduating I have been working as a web developer for a company in London. I am still playing cricket in the summer but do indoor training during the winter.
LSC Connect: What are the lessons you feel playing cricket at such a high level taught you?
Syed: A person may have highs and lows in life but always learn from lows and enjoy the highs. I think cricket has taught me this very well.
LSC Connect: Yes, it’s worth bearing in mind to enjoy the good time and roll with the not so good. We wish you well for the future and hope you will keep in touch with us.