Sunday, August 03, 2014

“Cricketing tactics and strategies help with everyday life”

Interview with Malaysian cricket star Faris Almas Lee

Emdad Rahman

Malaysian cricket star Faris Almas Lee Rosmanizam is an all rounder who bats right-handed and bowls leg breaks. His passion for cricket blossomed at the age of six as he followed in the footsteps of his brothers, who played for Malaysia's Under-13 and Under-15 teams.

Faris, a Malaysian under 19 star, has just completed his studies in England and has combined a tough learning schedule with captaining Barking & Dagenham based Scintilla Cricket Club in the Essex Cricket League.  “Fazza” has captained the team to new heights and Scintilla currently sit proudly at the top of the table with three games to go.

The Kuala Lumpur born star and mid order batsman hails Ahmad Faiz Mohd Noor, the current Malaysian senior team captain as his favourite player: “As a cricketer, he is very approachable and takes self-development and producing results seriously.

“My favourite player of all time has to be Sachin Tendulkar. He has always been inspiring on and off the field. He has played as a true gentleman on the pitch for decades, whilst performing consistently in all formats of the game. A true legend indeed, and I think no one would disagree with my choice.”

Faris hopes to return to Malaysia and carry on combining his quest to forge a successful career in both the accounting profession as well as cricket: “I recently received an offer from an international auditing firm for a permanent job, but I would still like to play a competitive level of cricket. Many have questioned how I would balance work and cricket? I think I'll be able to manage since I have been living a very busy life since I was a kid!”

Faris has enjoyed a hugely successful cricketing career in his short spell as captain of the first XI at Scintilla CC. The Barking & Dagenham club has offered him a platform to shine as a player whilst honing his leadership qualities: “My one and a half year commitment with Scintilla CC has been a good eye opener for me in terms of cricket exposure. I enjoyed working along the players and academy members of the club as all of them are eager to improve their standard of the game and constantly looking for positive results on and off the cricket field.

“Some names that deserve a special mention are Ahmed Choudhury, Ayaz Karim and Bellal Hossain who have assisted me throughout the season in managing the players and their morale.

“Cricketing tactics and strategies help with everyday life. I have also been honoured to captain the truly talented 1st XI side, and hopefully we can become the league champions this year.”

Access to cricket in England is not the same as everywhere else in the world but Faris feels that there is enough investment in grassroots cricket to provide good national players for years to come: “Cricket is an expensive sport, not just in England but around the world. Nevertheless, in England I see a similarly high enthusiasm for cricket, especially amongst the young as I see in cricket-crazy nations such as India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

“In my honest opinion, everyone should have access and opportunity to learn the game while enjoying the sport with friends and family.”

Faris takes away many golden memories: “It wasn't easy at first to balance between studies, cricket and adapting to different weather. I was soon able to cope up with the fast paced London lifestyle and culture and was lucky enough to meet wonderful friends and teammates who were very helpful during my two years stay in England.

“My favourite Scintilla CC memory I hope is in the near future, when I hope to proudly raise the league winners’ cup at the end of the current season.”

With Malaysia ever improving as a test nation the cricket board could have a battle hardened ex youth international ready to step up and be counted. The humble Faris just wants to stay fit and enjoy cricket: “It’s every cricketers dream to play for their country and I am no exception. I see myself playing competitive cricket for another 7 to 8 years and I will probably delve into coaching after retirement from serious cricket as it is important to keep in touch with the game.

“From what I saw in Malaysia, the number of children starting cricket in their primary education (considering Malaysia is not a cricket nation) is growing rapidly. This is due to the ongoing support from Malay Cricket Association of Malaysia (MCAM) and the Malaysian Cricket Association. I believe it is important to start from the roots to have a bigger formal structure of cricket development in Malaysia or anywhere around the world. If more people have an interest in cricket, there will be more competition between players to fight for a national team spot. This directly improves the overall standard of cricket for the country”.

Faris can play a massive role in the development of cricket in Malaysia. He is a thinking man’s cricket, cool, calm, composed with a laid back approach to leadership. He concentrates on setting the right example and this has inspired his team to a ten match win streak as his team have taken 200 points during a whirlwind unbeaten run. With Scintila CC unplayable at the moment we may just see the quiet man roar come the end of the season.

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