LONDON, ENGLAND – APRIL A general view of Lord’s Cricket Ground as the First-Class Cricket season is delayed due to COVID-19 on April 11, 2020 in London, England. Over 1.5 million people across the world have been infected with the COVID-19 coronavirus, with over 7,000 fatalities recorded in the United Kingdom (Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images)
THE Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) organised an event at Lord’s to celebrate Ramadan for the local community with a specially cooked Iftar on Friday (8).
Over 150 people attended the event which included a discussion on ‘Cricket during Ramadan’ held after the first day of the season opener match between Middlesex and Derbyshire, a statement said.
Hosted in the Nursery Pavilion, the celebration was arranged with the London Central Mosque. It was attended by representatives from a number of community organisations including Capital Kids Cricket, the National Asian Cricket Council, Westminster Care Services, Westminster University, Church Street Regeneration, the department for culture, media and sport and UK Sport.
The panel discussion was led by Arfan Akram from Essex Cricket and an MCC member. It provided valuable insight into what it is like to train and play cricket during the holy month, the statement added.
The guest panellists were, Mickey Arthur, current Derbyshire head coach and former coach of Pakistan men’s team, Dr Imtiaz Ahmad, head of medical at QPR FC and Pakistan Cricket Board medical advisory board member and Yashmin Harun, chair and founder of charity Muslimah Sports Association.
During the traditional Iftar, Muslim and non-Muslim guests were able to share the meal directly after sunset and break the day’s fast. Maghrib prayer also took place led by Iman Rahman of London Central Mosque.
Ricky Reynolds, head of MCC community development, said: “Events like this highlight how important it is for us as a Club and Ground to engage with, support and understand our local community, and the various cultures and religions within it.
“We’ve been able to truly enjoy a shared experience, we’ve learnt from one and other, and about how faith and sport work together and what it’s like to be a Muslim cricketer during Ramadan. It has been a special event, especially for our non-Muslim staff, many of whom have fasted today”.
Arfan Akram said: “As a proud MCC member, it was wonderful of the Club to celebrate the month of Ramadan for the Muslim community by putting on an insightful Iftar event.”
Earlier this year, Middlesex became the first county side to sign up to the Muslim Athlete Charter to help implement best practices across the club for Muslim players, staff and supporters, the statement further said.