Over 80 guests came together on 7 April for a special event at Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) to welcome members of the local community to celebrate Ramadan and to break the day’s fast with a specially cooked Iftar.
The free event took place as the cricket season got underway at Lord’s with the first day of the LV= Insurance County Championship match between Middlesex and Derbyshire. Earlier this year, Middlesex became the first county side to sign up to the Muslim Athlete Charter to help implement best practice across the club for Muslim players, staff and supporters.
The event was attended by representatives from the London Central Mosque as well as a number of community organisations including: Capital Kids Cricket, the National Asian Cricket Council, Westminster Care Services, Westminster University, Church Street Regeneration, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and UK Sport. Guests also included MCC Members, staff and Middlesex CCC staff.
Hosted in the Nursery Pavilion, the event included a panel discussion led by Arfan Akram from Essex Cricket and an MCC Member, on ‘Cricket During Ramadan’ highlighting and providing valuable insight into what it is like to train and play cricket during the holy month.
The guest panellists were: Mickey Arthur, current Derbyshire Head Coach and former coach of Pakistan men’s team; Dr Imtiaz Ahmad, Head of Medical at QPR FC and Pakistan Cricket Board Medical Advisory Board Member; and Yashmin Harun, Chair and Founder of Muslimah Sports Association, a charity set up in 2014 to provide safe and positive environments for women to take part in sport without comprising their religious and cultural beliefs.
The evening also included a traditional Iftar, where Muslim and non-Muslim guests were able to share an evening meal directly after sunset and to break the day’s fast. Maghrib prayer also took place lead by Iman Rahman of London Central Mosque.
Ricky Reynolds, Head of MCC Community Development, commented: “Events like this highlight how important it is for us as a Club and Ground to engage with, support and understand our local community, and the various cultures and religions within it.
We’ve been able to truly enjoy a shared experience, we’ve learnt from one and other, and about how faith and sport work together and what it’s like to be a Muslim cricketer during Ramadan. It has been a special event, especially for our non-Muslim staff, many of whom have fasted today”.
Arfan Akram, who hosted the panel said: “As a proud MCC member, it was wonderful of the Club to celebrate the month of Ramadan for the Muslim community by putting on an insightful Iftar event.
It was equally great to listen to three very impressive panellists in Mickey Arthur, Dr Imtiaz Ahmad and Yashmin Harun, who shared their experiences on the importance of faith and how it has helped them empower so many people, including growing themselves”.
MCC would like to thank Iman Sheikh Kazi Luthfar Rahman. We would also like to thank host and panellists: Arfan Akram, Micky Arthur, Dr Imtiaz Ahmad and Yashmin Harun.