Kyle Drinnan, Sports Reporter
Nauman Zafar’s dream was to become a professional cricket player.
His dream wasn’t so different from anyone else when he was in Pakistan. But Zafar did it differently. Instead of representing a country that is green and white, he found himself under a flag of red and white.
Zafar came to Canada in 2015. Even though he was leaving the top-ranked cricket nation, Zafar was still optimistic about Canada’s performance.
“Canada was once a nation that faced the best in cricket. I was never worried because Canada was a nation I saw playing well against Pakistan and Australia,” Zafar said.
Canada is a country that has made it to the Cricket World Cup before. In 2011 they made it and lost all but one match, against Ireland. Team Canada now ranks 23rd in the world.
When arriving at Humber he found cricket overshadowed by the other sports. Humber only had an indoor cricket team that played in extramural games.
Zafar wasn’t going to let the lack of cricket stop him, he was going to make his own path.
“He is one of the main reasons we have an outdoor cricket team. That should be telling of his leadership,” Humber Lakeshore’s indoor cricket coach Uzair Modan said.
Zafar’s leadership skills are admired by his teammates as well. Anyone who was asked to describe him repeated the same word: leader.
His hard work came together as he was selected for Canada’s national development team for cricket and played a tournament in Saint Kitts. It was an opportunity for the leader to become the student.
“It was something that I was working hard for. I had my name in there but when they announced that I made the team I was really emotional,” Zafar said. “For the first few games I really wanted to learn off of everyone. I am playing with people that I knew before meeting them.”
Zafar was one of the youngest on the field. But in Canada, Humber has been producing national products for years and he was another one.
Canada had a slow start during that West Indies Super 50 tournament . They lost to teams such as Barbados and Jamaica. They did manage to beat teams such as a local university that was known for producing talent.
Zafar is now waiting for summer to determine his next move. But his coaches aren’t worried about him.
“Nauman is the first person to a practice and last to leave,” Humber North cricket coach Taqi Baig said. “He always gets the most out of the minutes we have. Just like what everyone says, he is a leader.”