Ali Khorami travelled to Australia alone in 2010, leaving his mother, brother and sister at home in Pakistan.
Membership to a cricket club was an ideal way for Ali to get involved in his new community; “I already knew how to play – at home we played in the street with nets”. Although the thought of joining a team where he nobody was daunting – Ali grew up playing with “friends and neighbours” who he knew well – his skill and enthusiasm are a great help. As he well knows, a passion for cricket will get you far in Australia.
Ali joined Berwick Cricket Club this year. After being donated a helmet and pants, the Sports Without Borders Sports Scholarship paid for his registration costs and a new cricket bat – an important asset on the field! Ali prides himself on his prowess as an all-rounder. “I can field and I’m also a spin-bowler,” he says, but “I’m just trying hard so I can get more opportunities to play”
Ali works casually in IT and trains with the club two days a week as well as playing in matches on the weekend. Being on the field is a nice change from his workplace and although he likes the exercises and concedes cricket is “good for fitness,” mostly Ali just wants to be involved. “I want to be around cricket all the time,” he says.
So as the summer season comes to an end what is Ali’s plan? “There are four or five games left and then we have more training. I want to play in a club next season too.” Philosophical as ever, the simple fact of a finishing season won’t detract from Ali’s passion for the game; “I’ll play cricket forever [as long as] I’m alive.”