In our stars of ECL series we look at Rizwan Mahmood of Denmark champions Skanderborg.
Born in Aarhus, Rizwan, 30, progressed swiftly through the Denmark youth ranks and has racked a number of man-of-the-match awards at international level after making his full debut against the Netherlands in 2009 in an ICC World Cup Qualifier in South Africa.
A prolific run scorer for club and country, Rizwan and is a key batsman at the top of the order for Skanderborg, Denmark’s T20 champions. However, the “Stingrays” European Cricket League title hopes were shattered following the postponement of ECL20 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
How much of a disappointment was the postponement of ECL20?
It was a huge disappointment for everyone at Skanderborg. We were all looking forward to it immensely, we have a very strong side and were ready for the great challenge.
What’s your take on the recent ECL21 qualification announcement?
It’s an absolutely fair decision, ensuring only the best teams qualify for the European Cricket League.
How has your life changed since covid19 crisis?
For me, there has been less cricket and more work. The gym has been closed, which is tough too, so we need to find other ways to stay in shape.
What’s the toughest part of the current covid19 crisis for you?
Not playing any cricket and the gyms being closed.
Positively, what is the best part? If any?
When there isn't any cricket, then you suddenly have a lot of free time. I have spent a lot of this extra time with my family, which has been great.
Who or what is your greatest inspiration at this time?
My greatest inspiration is always my dad. He is my biggest role model.
What do you do more of these days? And less?
I have never walked so much in my entire life. I have worked a lot as well and spent more time with my family. I’ve spent less time in the gym and, obviously, on the cricket field.
What would be your dream FIRST game back after the fight has been won against covid19?
Winning the match, getting some runs and hitting the winning run in the first game back.
What was the highlight of your cricketing career?
Playing for Denmark for well over a decade has always been a great honour for me. Winning the European Championships in 2011, when I received the man of the match award in the final is also special.
Who is the best bowler you've faced?
Shadab Khan and Saeed Ajmal.
The fastest bowler you've faced?
Dirk Nannes (former Netherlands and Australia fast bowler) in Middlesex 2009.
And the best spinner faced?
Saeed Ajmal in UK and Shadab Khan in Pakistan.
Who is the best batsman you've played with?
In Denmark Frederik Klokker and Monty Singh. In South Africa, Paul Stirling.
Paul Stirling, Ryan Ten Doeschate and Misbah-Ul-Haq to name but a few.