Home > Features >

‘Yuvraj, Ganguly, Zaheer and Indian team to come together in support of my charitable cause’

Azhar Mahmood © Getty Images
The money raised from the event organised by Azhar Mahmood will go to the British Asian Trust © Getty Images

By Azhar Mahmood

So what am I up to these days? Well, the T20 blast has been in full swing and Surrey have qualified for the quarter-finals and the Royal London 50 over tournament which started on Sunday. But, more of that later.

My wife and I have also been extremely busy organising my benefit dinner in support of a charity event too which will be a celebration of my career and also double-up as a fund-raising dinner for the British Asian Trust. Very recently I was honoured to be the first Pakistani player to become an ambassador of one of the Prince’s charities ‘The British Asian Trust’. I decided I wanted to do more via my benefit dinner and hence offer my support to the trust specifically for the mental health programmes in South Asian countries.

So, as you can imagine, it’s been a hectic time playing cricket and organising the dinner which will be held on August 19 at a London venue.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Surrey County Cricket Club for their support with my benefit dinner. I’ve spent eight very happy seasons at the club and they have always been good to me. All my Surrey team mates will attend the event, Yuvraj Singh will also attend. In addition other members of the India squad who are touring England will also be there, as will Sourav Ganguly.

Zaheer Khan, whilst he’s currently in India, has said to me that he will come all the way from India to attend the event . He told me that he’s very supportive of this charity and would dearly love to attend and help the cause, which is a fantastic gesture by him.

Whilst on the field, we had our run-ins and things got heated with the Indian players, off the field we have always been good friends and the fact that so many of them are ready to support the charity event speaks volumes for them all.

Mohammad Yousuf, Shoaib Akhtar and my former Surrey captain Adam Hollioake will also be in attendance as well as Kent and former England batsman Rob Key and also former England and Surrey wicket-keeper/batsman Alec Stewart. And last, but by no means least, the legend Wasim Akram will also grace us with his presence. He’s been one of my most favourite and supportive captains.

From the current England set-up, Ravi Bopara and Moeen Ali will also be present and my current Surrey teammate Tillakaratne Dilshan will also try his best to attend. I’m absolutely delighted that players from all over the world and of all nationalities are supporting the cause.

Normally what happens with a benefit event is that the player gets all of the money raised and collected. However, what I have stated is that I want all monies raised on August 19 to be given to the British Asian Trust, for whom I am now an ambassador. On the night, various items will be auctioned, including bats signed by the likes of Brian Lara and Sachin Tendulkar.

The money raised will go towards supporting mental health patients in South Asia, covering Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, India and Pakistan. This is an issue that is taboo amongst South Asian communities and I want to bring it to the world’s attention and that’s why I chose to support this program. I’ve played cricket in all of those countries and know that mental health problems are ignored and there is very little help for patients.

The format of the evening will be the auction, dinner and also a question and answer with myself and Wasim Akram. We’ll open the Q & A to the audience to interact with Wasim and I, and to ask us any questions about Pakistan cricket, our careers and cricket in general. There will also be a question and answer with Adam Hollioake and I about Surrey and the successes we have enjoyed with Surrey.

It promises to be a memorable occasion with lots of cricketing stars present. I hope everyone supports the event and we raise lots of money for a worthy cause.

Moving on to the cricket with Surrey this season. Well I’m delighted to have helped Surrey to the quarter-finals of the T20 blast where we will face Worcestershire next week. Hopefully we can make it to another finals day in Birmingham and win the title this time around. I’m feeling in good shape and I’m closing in on the milestone of 4000 runs and 200 wickets in 20-over cricket so that will be fantastic if I reach that landmark soon. Inshallah.

(Azhar Mahmood is a former Pakistan all-rounder who played 21 Tests and 143 One-Day Internationals (ODIs). On Test debut in South Africa, he smashed a ton and a fifty. His international career spanned from 1996 to 2007. Mahmood has also been a regular in country cricket having turned out for Kent and Surrey, excelling in T20 cricket in particular. His exploits in the shortest format have won him fame and he has played for Kings XI Punjab, Auckland, Barbados Tridents, Dhaka Gladiators, Barisal Burners, Wayamba United, Sydney Thunder and Cape Cobras)

India tour of Australia 2014, Practice matches

Nov 24, 2014 (05:29 IST)   at Glenelg, Adelaide

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 24, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Colombo

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Nov 26, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Sharjah

England tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 26, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at Colombo

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 26, 2014 (12:00 IST)   at Dhaka

More

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 23, 2014  at Chittagong

Bangladesh won by 68 runs

South Africa tour of Australia, 2014

Nov 23, 2014  at Sydney

Australia won by 2 wickets (D/L method)

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 22, 2014  at Dambulla

Match abandoned without a ball being bowled

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 21, 2014  at Dambulla

Match abandoned without a ball being bowled

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 21, 2014  at Chittagong

Bangladesh won by 87 runs

Photos

Australia vs South Africa, 3rd ODI at Canberra

Videos

SL vs Eng: Buttler practices wicketkeeping in nets

Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe 2014, 2nd ODI at Chittagong: Highlights

Australia vs South Africa 2014, 5th ODI at Sydney: Highlights

Quinton de Kock’s century in vain as Australia register two wicket win over South Africa

Saeed Ajmal: 99 per cent bowlers will fail 15 degree test

Tamim Iqbal, Anamul Haque register second-highest opening partnership for Bangladesh in ODIs

Australia Australia vs South Africa Australia vs South Africa 2014 Bangladesh Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe 2014 India New Zealand Pakistan South Africa South Africa tour of Australia 2014 South Africa vs Australia South Africa vs Australia 2014 Zimbabwe Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh 2014 Zimbabwe vs Bangladesh Zimbabwe vs Bangladesh 2014

Live Cricket Score: Indians vs Cricket Australia XI, 1st Practice Match at Adelaide

Live Scorecard: Indians vs Cricket Australia XI, 1st Practice Match at Adelaide

Michael Clarke, Shane Watson, Ryan Harris, Josh Hazlewood named in Australia’s squad for 1st Test against India

Sri Lanka vs England 2014: Moeen Ali, Alastair Cook’s form bodes well, says Mark Ramprakash

Mithali Raj: India women confident ahead of ODI series against South Africa

Single-wicket cricket match between John Grange and James Sadler lasts three days

Bill Ashdown and Bert Wensley beat a team of 11 all by themselves

Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina in interesting tussle ahead of India’s Test series against Australia

Vijay Hazare Trophy 2014-15: Robin Uthappa, Yuvraj Singh, Manish Pandey will get another chance to impress in final

Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe 2014, 2nd ODI at Chittagong: Highlights

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

681 Posts | 6 Fans

Video Highlights: Virat Kohli vs Australian cricketers

Watch Free Live Streaming & Telecast of Indian Super League (ISL) 2014 Football 37th Match between Kerala Blasters FC vs Atletico de Kolkata

PK Tharki Chokro making: Rancho aka Aamir Khan and Munna Bhai aka Sanjay Dutt shake legs to this folk number

Simbu-Hansika’s Vaalu slated for Christmas release!

Yeh Hai Mohabbatein: Will Raman and Ishita help Mihika with her plans?

Alibaba to launch its Taobao marketplace in international markets: Reuters

8 reasons to add rosemary to your diet

eBay India ‘Black Friday’ sale kicks off today

How many calories do bananas have?

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here