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Hackney cricket lover Rizwan Siddiqui enjoys Edgbaston Fans T20 Trophy game despite Super Over defeat

PUBLISHED: 10:00 19 May 2017

Rizwan Siddiqui (top row, second from the right) and his Pakistan team (pic: Sportsbeat/Roberto Payne).

Rizwan Siddiqui (top row, second from the right) and his Pakistan team (pic: Sportsbeat/Roberto Payne).

© Sportsbeat/Roberto Payne

Local resident enjoyed occasion in Birmingham and joked at least now he knows what it feels like to lose a thriller

One Hackney cricket fan hailed the sport the real champion after narrowly missing out on Edgbaston Fans T20 Trophy glory in Birmingham on Monday.

Facing an Indian fans’ side, Rizwan Siddiqui’s team sacrificed a strong position to lose by five runs, with a Super Over required to settle the tie.

Due to inclement weather, the match was moved from its original venue, Attock Cricket Club, indoors to the Edgbaston Cricket Centre, but that didn’t stop the players from showing their prowess at the wicket.

With India taking on Pakistan during the ICC Champions Trophy on June 4 at Edgbaston, Monday’s event provided the perfect prequel to the big game.

And for local government worker Siddiqui, he couldn’t have been prouder to have donned the Pakistan shirt. “As has happened a lot in recent years, Pakistan lost to India in a cricket match,” said the 40-year-old.

“We’re kind of used to it as fans but now we have experienced it as players, and it is not a feeling that we like. I think cricket was the winner today. It’s all part of the game – someone wins, someone loses.

“I thought we played the first game really well. We played good indoor cricket, we ran well, fielded well, and batted sensibly.

“We had that game under control after four overs. A couple of loose overs then went and all of a sudden, we started panicking. The pressure was on us, and we didn’t respond well. In the Super Over, we needed six of the last ball to win, and unfortunately we didn’t get that.

“India versus Pakistan is a good showcase of cricket, and a good way for fans from both countries to come together and enjoy the game. If India versus Pakistan in a couple of weeks is anything as tight as this, I think the fans will go home happy.

“We gave it our all. One team had to win, one team had to lose, unfortunately that was us but hopefully the tables are turned on June 4.”

The Edgbaston Fans T20 Trophy was established in 2016 with a match between England’s Barmy Army and Pakistan, and this year welcomed the ICC Champions Trophy, along with the ICC Women’s World Cup, as the Nissan Trophy Tour reached Birmingham.

As one of three venues for the ICC Champions Trophy – which takes place from June 1-18 – Edgbaston will host five games, including one semi-final, with Pakistan versus India expected to be the biggest of them all.

“It’s really important to bring Indian and Pakistani communities together like this, especially under the banner of the ECB,” said Gulfran Riaz, chairman of the National Asian Cricket Council.

“The more we can get the Asian cricketing communities closer to established set-ups, it allows the players to come and experience things like this which they wouldn’t normally do.

“It’s great to bring people together who are from almost two ends of the scale, and this can only do good for the community and the cricketing family.”

The ICC Champions Trophy (1-18 June) and ICC Women’s World Cup (24 June – 23 July) will both see the best eight ODI teams in the world compete for glory in England & Wales this summer. Tickets available at icc-cricket.com/tickets

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