Maldives comprises of group of Islands situated in the Indian Ocean and is known for its beaches, blue lagoons and extensive reefs. Amidst all these beauties, Cricket too has found a place in the Maldives Community. Although Cricket has a long history in the Maldives and the game was progressively adopted over the years. Year 1920 saw the formation of First Cricket Club in the country known as Male Cricket Club. Maldives Cricket owe a lot to Sri Lanka, since the scholars and people returning from Sri Lanka brought Cricket along with them to Maldives. The Cricket Control Board of Maldives was established on 1 January 1983 by the government to promote and develop the game of Cricket in the Maldives.
Shafraz Jaleel is the National Cricket Player from Maldives, Son of late Ahmed Jaleel who also represented Maldives National Cricket team. Shafraz’s Cricket was mentored by his father which gave him enough confidence. He believes that Maldivian Cricket has a lot of potential and if groomed properly, huge development is waiting for it. Lack of outdoor Cricket grounds is a challenge and is being worked upon. Shafraz feels that playing more and more matches could possibly help Maldivian Cricket Community. We at Global Cricket Community would like to wish Maldivian Cricket all the best in future endeavors.
1. Tell us about yourself?
Full Name : Shafraz Jaleel
Date of Birth : 28.08.1987
Playing Role : Batsman/Wicket Keeper
Batting Style : R/H BAT
Bowling Style : -
Country : Maldives
2. What age did you start playing Cricket? How did you get in touch with the game?
Started to play cricket around the age of 4 , my Father late Ahmed Jaleel who also represented the National Team and First XI of ST Peters College (Colombo, Sri lanka) loved the sport and guided me through. At the tender age of 3, my dad moved my family to Sri Lanka for studies which is where my cricket started.
3. Who were your cricketing heroes whilst growing up?
My Father was and still is my greatest cricketing hero. Apart from that I loved watching Jacques Kallis play and also Romesh Kaluwitharana.
4. Was your family supportive when you started off with Cricket? Was it ever hard for you to convince them?
My Family was the backbone of my support, they were always there to support me when ever I needed them. My dad always pushed me to do better. Mom of course needed a little convincing.
5. What do you enjoy the most on the field? Is it lofting the ball over boundaries, or breaking stumps or fielding?
I love the boundaries since I am an attacking opening batsman but I do enjoy my keeping as well.
6. If not Cricket, where else would you have landed up in your Career?
Cricket is not so much a career here in Maldives but a passion. But I love to cook and would love to be a chef.
7. Any major challenges that you faced all these years? How do you feel can those challenges be addressed?
Since I broke through into the Senior National team its been more good memories than bad but last year I was struck with a Knee injury and will be travelling to Chennai for treatment. That's the biggest challenge I have come across.
8. Where do you and your team see yourself in coming 5 years? Where do you want to focus in order to improve your cricket?
We think we can be a strong team in the league we play in provided we play enough competitive matches in a year as a National side. We can push teams like Nepal, Oman, Singapore and Malaysia for top places.
9. What would be that one goal of your life to achieve as a Cricketer?
I think Goals we have already achieved a few life goals as a team and right now the next REALISTIC goal is to play the T20 world cup. If Oman can do it I don't see any reason why we cannot. We have the players we just need more matches.
10. Which do you feel has been the biggest highlight of your sporting career so far? Any achievements or rewards that you cherish the most.
Being promoted to the Elite league after winning the ACC Trophy Challenge 2010 was definitely a day I will never forget. My first match for the Senior team was also a day to remember I scored my maiden 50.
11. What do you feel is the future of Cricket in your Country?
The future can be very bright if correct steps are taken, we have a lot of young cricketers but only one ground to play on which is currently being shared with athletics and we play our matches on artificial turf and we have a side turf wicket which is not maintained BUT if these things can be improved I can see this team doing things that would surprise a lot of people.
12. Who would you credit most for your success and why?
My Father Late AHMED JALEEL who was my first coach, my mentor, my inspiration.
MOOSA KALEEM our former Captain and our hero . He is a class in his own. Known as one of the leading players in the whole region apart from the test playing nations.
13. Your advice to the youngsters taking up Cricket as a career?
This sport is not only a sport but a way of life. You learn to be a better person by playing this beautiful game.
14. One thing that you want us (Global Cricket Community) to do for the Cricket Community and why?
Currently what we lack is game time. The only way to improve is to play more competitive matches and if Global Cricket Community can help us get matches by getting a team down to Maldives or facilitate for us to play in India or Sri Lanka that would be very beneficial.