December 18, 2019 marked an exciting occasion for CCUSA as the organization celebrated its 20 years anniversary with a banquet dinner featuring VIP guests. The event was held at the Double Tree, Hilton Hotel in Fort Lauderdale. Interestingly, the following day CCUSA kicked off with the 11th edition of its highly renowned US Open T-20 cricket tournament officially sanctioned by the ICC and attended by Mr. Andrew, the anticorruption officer at the ICC.
The evening started with the vocals of highly talented singer: Bianca Sperduti who entertained the audience with the national anthem; this was followed by a presentation highlighting the achievements of CCUSA over the past 20 years. The program was further graced by Afzal Ahmad Qureshi a.k.a AJ, son of MAQ and Sofian Qamar, Vice President Operations. CCUSA acknowledged a number of vital people with recognition certificates;
The major awardees included:
- Michael Chambers, President of Cricket Hall of Fame and one of the greatest friends of CCUSA.
- Ken Thurston, Mayor of Lauderhill. Lauderhill is the home of the only ICC approved Cricket stadium in the United States. Mayor Thurston was first elected as a commissioner in 2010. He became Mayor of the City in November 2018. Mayor Thurston earned his bachelors from Morehouse College. Mayor Thurston serves the citizen of Lauderhill as an exemplary civic leader.
- Dale Holness, Mayor of Broward County: He has served Broward County in various capacities. Before Serving as the Mayor of Broward County, he serves as a commissioner at city of Lauderhill, Commissioner at Broward County and as County Vice-Mayor. His support and Leadership were key in bringing cricket to south Florida. He has been a strong supporter of CCUSA since the beginning.
- Ex- chairman of Afghanistan Board: Nasim Ullah Danish: Mr. Nasim Ullah Danish served as the chairman of Afghanistan cricket board from 2014 to January 2019. He has played an important role in the development of cricket in Afghanistan
- Head of West Indies Board- Ricky Skerrit.Ricky has been the Minister of Tourism and International Transports, Saint Kitts and Nevis from 2010-2013 and the Minister of Tourism, International Transport, International Trade, Industry, Commerce, and Consumer Affairs, Saint Kitts and Nevis from 2013 – 2015.
- CEO of USA Cricket: Iain Higgins: Iain Higgins is the first CEO of USA Cricket. He has more than 10 years of leadership roles with the International Cricket Council (ICC).
CCUSA further lauded the key people who have contributed immensely to its success, namely:
- Fred Bellis: Fred Bellis has been associated with CCUSA for over 2 decades. He manages CCISA’s relationship with civic leadership and the governing bodies in Florida. He has served at the office of supervisor of Election.
- Bobby Refaie: Bobby first came to CCUSA as someone who wanted to assist cricket in the United States, CCUSA welcomed him with open arms, and he worked assiduously in taking the game forward. He has since moved on to greater things.
- Jeff Miller: Currently with the Jamaica Tallawahs at the CPL, Jeff was a key man in the CCUSA set up years ago. He was the operations manager and worked tirelessly to bring professionalism to the set up.
- Hafeez-ur-rehman: This Bangladeshi photographer has also played a role in promoting the work of CCUSA in terms of getting cricket out there to the masses in America.
- Masroor Rab: Ever since the idea of Cricket Council USA was bandied about Rab was involved. He played a pivotal part in getting the paperwork and other systems up for CCUSA and up until today he guards the reputation of CCUSA fiercely. Rab has been more like a brother to chairman MAQ over the years and is a fixture at CCUSA’s headquarters in Margate.
- Shah Zafar: Shah has been with CCUSA since 2014 and this will be his 6th US Open Tournament. Shah who is the manager of Brampton Wolves in the GT20 and president of Cricket Ontario brings a wealth of experience to CCUSA. He was made tournament director of the US Open. He will soon leave for the Under 19 World Cup as a team manager for the Canadian national team. He was also inducted into the US Hall of fame in 2018.
- Aijaz Qureshi and Tanveer Iqbal; the great supporters of CCUSA.
- Shams Baig: has been a solid support to the executive of Cricket Council USA.
- Vinod Mamchan: is a celebrated international journalist and commentator from the West Indies. He has grabbed 16 awards in journalism. He has travelled the world covering cricket and is highly respected in many countries. He has covered seven World Cups and has done commentaries with legends like Viv Richards, Clive Lloyd, Steve Waugh and Kapil Dev just to name a few. He has been to eight US Open tournaments and is a key man at MaqTV. .
- Siva Narapareddy: Sive is a longtime supporter of CCUSA. Matter of fact, he was one of the first to help CCUSA in conducting a tournament outside USA. Virginia T20 was a very successful event.
- Abdul Razzak Katia (late): He lost his battle with Cancer few months ago. Mr. Katia was very instrumental in getting cricket league going in South Florida in late 80’s and early 90’s. He personally supported local teams financially and logistically. His services and support for South Florida cricket in general and for CCUSA in particular are unforgettable.
- Praim Persaud: Priam started working with CCUSA in 2014 and worked for three years before taking a break. He is the longest serving president of Brampton District Cricket League and that’s over 30 years. He is currently VP of cricket Ontario and the advisory board for cricket on Brampton City council.
- Josephus Eggleston: is the county commissioner and has been instrumental bringing cricket to Broward County.
- William Markham (late): had been a great support for CCUSA in bringing cricket to broward county.
- Brenda C. Ssnipes: is the retired Broward County Supervisor of elections who has contributed immensely to CCUSA’s cricket development vision.
- Ted Toomer: Is the member of Broward county public school system and is the Director of leadership development. His support is instrumental in implementation of Cricket programs in Broward County schools.
- Jermaine Flemming: He is the director of School performance and accountability for Broward county public schools.
- Shiraz Najam: Najam Has been associated with CCUSA for over 10 years. He has served as CCUSA’s regional director and is a member of its central advisory board. Mr. Najam was part of ICC Americas’ restructuring team.
- Sakhi Muhammad: has played an important part in the development of cricket in Texas. Mr. Sakhi Muhammed has built one of the very few privately own Cricket stadiums in USA. Musa Stadium has hosted many tournaments in last few years.
- Mohammad Dawood: Dawood has been associated with CCUSA for almost 2 decades. Because of the support of individuals like Mr. Dawood, US Open has been grown and recognized as one of the premier and the biggest cricket tournament in the USA.
- Aslam Khan: Aslam Khan has always been very supportive of CCUSA plan. His team, “Somerset” has been participating in US open from years now.
- Sanju Patel: Patel’s love for cricket is well known in cricket circles in USA. His professionalism is reflected in his participation in US Open. US Tigers has been one of the best managed and perfectly presented team in US Open every year.
- K. Yau: Mr Yau is a successful entrepreneur form Atlanta, Georgia. He has expertise in financial sector. His involvement in community service and passion to support youth causes led him to get involved in cricket. He the owner of Atlanta Griffin Franchise.
- Akbar Khan: a long-term partner and supporter of CCUSA.
- Jagmohan Viroja: Mr. Viroja is a Medical Doctor by profession. His love and passion for the game of cricket has brought him closer to CCUSA. Dr. Viroja has invested his time and money to build” Miami Shark” franchise.
- Timmy Surajbally: Timmy Surajbally is a very well-known figure in south Florida and Caribbean Cricket. His efforts to assist new teams participating in USOpen and other areas of promotion are highly recognized and appreciated.
- Zain Jeewanjee: Jeewanjee is the latest addition to the list of CCUSA’ premier partners and franchise holders. Mr. Jeewanjee has been associated with promoting and supporting cricket for decades.
The occasion also featured key notes by Vinod Mamchan, Zishawn Qureshi the son of MAQ; Zishawn is the captain of US All Stars team. He was the youngest player to play US Open in 2008. He is also one of the few players who have played in every single US Open since its inception. Zishawn also participated in CPL representing “Guyana Amazon Warriors” and Global T20 Premier League as part of “Toronto Nationals”, Mohammad Amin Markati, and MAQ finished the speeches with their words about CCUSA’s accomplishments and thank you note to all.
More importantly, in line with its vision to promote cricket all over USA, CCUSA also had a fundraiser as part of the banquet to help schools in Florida with vital resources to coach kids and eventually grow the game of cricket.