Updated on: 21/08/2017
Mohammed Ather, 20, has recently received the exciting news that he will be in the squad for the upcoming Indoor Cricket World Cup.
The tournament is set to be held from 16-23 September in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) hosting approximately 400 players and officials from talented nations including Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Sri Lanka, India, Singapore, Malaysia, UAE and of course, England.
Mohammed, who is currently studying towards his Sport Coaching Science BSc (Hons) at Newman University, Birmingham received the news just a week ago after hoping to secure his place on the team for many months.
"Selection was a long process that lasted 4 months which included a lot of travelling and training which was both mentally and physically draining. I was blessed to have great company around me all the time.
"There would be days at university where I would be tired after a long hard day and my friends would ask me if I had training, to which I would reluctantly reply yes, they would then drop me to training and motivate me to keep me going.
"At home my family fully supported me by picking me up and dropping me off to different cities within the country and my coaches played the most integral role in my selection as they trained me 5 days a week."
Not only has Mohammed had to juggle his training commitments but he has also had to stay focused when approaching the end of his second year of studies at Newman University.
Mohammed began studying his Sport Coaching Science degree as he felt his future career lay in coaching and also teaching sport and chose Newman as his learning institution as he preferred the smaller class sizes and the support students’ gain from teaching staff.
"I can always lean on lecturers at Newman for advice; you can build a rapport by playing different sports with them outside of university, but when it comes to work and assignments if I am not up to the mark they will let me know and give me critical feedback about it so I knew I had to raise my game.
"I feel my lecturers played a huge in my selection because, before trialling for the country, I was in two minds about how it may affect my university grades, however, after meeting with Dr. Ibrahim Akubat and Dr. Stefan Lawrence they reassured me that everything would be fine and they would be willing to help me when I needed it; they gave me that little boost I needed to go and fulfil my potential."
Mohammed, who hopes to progress to complete his PGCE at Newman University once achieving his BSc, will fly to the UAE shortly to begin his World Cup journey.
"As a nation we are going in as underdogs, which I think is great - we have nothing to lose. Personally enjoyment is the least of my priorities, I’m going there to win. I’m a firm believer that actions speak louder than words so I will let my actions do the talking and who knows if we qualify for the semi-finals it’s anybody’s game. I’m a bowler and if I can take wickets the opposition loses runs. So I feel I have a key part to play in the team’s success."