Zakaria Zaki, an all rounder national cricket player from Morocco shares his cricket journey in an interview with Global Cricket Community. He focuses on the challenges that Moroccan Cricket is currently facing and how Zakaria feels to overcome these challenges. He even told us how important Cricket Equipments are for them as they are not available in their own country. Zakaria has also founded his own club names as "Manar Cricket Club" to boost the involvement of Community in cricket. He also told us about his vision of "Cricket for All." Its an initiative that will involve Senior, Junior and Ladies Cricket Players from Morocco. We congratulate you Zakaria for your wonderful efforts and wish you all the luck for future endeavours.
Full Name: Zaki Zakaria
Date of Birth: 10/01/1987
Playing Role: All Rounder Player
Batting type: Right hand batman opener
Bowling type: Right arm medium pace & swing bowler
Address: Casablanca, Morroco
Morocco is an Arab country. I know to speak Arabic, French and little English. I work in the post place of letters. Morocco is in extreme north of Africa. It is a very nice place with nice climate. We can play cricket 12 months a year.
Excerpts from an Interview with Zakaria Zaki from Morocco by Vishal Yadav
1. Currently where are you playing cricket? Since how long are you playing cricket? What level of cricket have you played so far?
I started playing cricket in 2002. I was in a sports club and I saw some Indian and Morocco men’s playing this strange game. At first, I found this game a bit weird. But with the help of a friend, who was already playing this game, I got to try this game once. When I tried I loved it so match. This is a game for gods and for angels. So I started playing from 2002. Soon in 2009 entered in Wifak Casa club. I could easily pick up this game and developed it very fast. By this time I won with this team Moroccan league 3 times and king cup 1 time. I was also selected as the second best player in my country.
After that in 2010 I found my own team and started Manar Cricket Club in Casa also known as MCC CASA. ‘Manar’ means the light of cricket. I started doing my best to develop this team. We achieved the third place in my country. It was a big success for us because we were a new club.
I also played cricket with the national team since 2005. Started with the junior team and after one year I started playing with the senior team. It was like a dream come true for me. I was really excited. Playing in division 2 at the ICC Cricket Africa league in South Africa, 2006 we got the 5th place. It was a good year for me. I was just 19 years old then. I joined the club and I was always an essential player in the national team. We went to GHANA in 2010 to play the ICC Cricket Africa league. This time we fell to division 3 because of the poor management of our cricket board because they did not participate in 2009. We got the 6th place this year. This year I remember, I was chosen to participate in a formation in Nigeria for the best all rounder.
2. Do you play for any club or a team? Mention their names? When was it founded?
In 2012, I played for the national team in ICC Africa Cricket League at division 3. We got the 7th place which was not good and the reason was again the poor management of the board. It wasn’t our technical cricket problems. From that date the Africa Association Cricket stopped our participation in the ICC Africa league because of our federation and they didn’t answer the email of the ACA.
We do have a lot of problem with our Cricket board, still we do our best in our city to develop and involve cricket .For example, the Moroccan country has no place where we can buy cricket equipments, so when I go with the national team in other country, I buy the kits with my own money for my team players. Recently I bought the kits from Ghana, South Africa, Nigeria and Gambia.
3. Where do you see yourself in coming 5 years? Where do you want to focus in order to improve your cricket?
Within these 5 years, I want to implement a project. It is to start a cricket school named "Cricket for all."
I have the idea in paper but nobody helps me to do it in real. I think this is the way to develop cricket and become a famous cricket country like India. Just like how football is famous in my country.
4. Any recent achievements/activities that you had. (It could be organizing a small camp, or just playing a match or organizing a cricket camp)
Now I have a plan, I go to school, present this game to a student and I ask them to come to our training to become one of my team members. Doing this I want to have 3 categories of team:
I have the passion to play cricket but we are small people in Morocco who knows cricket and can do coaching. It’s just that we coach and we manage. I do all the necessary things required for cricket.
5. What are you and your team doing in order to promote cricket as a game and involve many people.
Since 2010 till today, we have done a lot of cricket activities which are mentioned below.
*Made cricket presentations to introduce and explain the game of cricket.
*Practice cricket and teach the technicalities of cricket.
*Arrange matches of cricket and other dozens of tournament.
*Promote school cricket.
*Participate in the official match in the national league.
6. Would you like to come to India for a tournament or a coaching camp? Or do you want to travel any other country (if Yes, please mention the name)?
For me, like I said before, it’s a dream for me coming to India someday.
I also wish to have a lot of cricket kits and equipment facilities in our country. All the players must have their own kits and cricket gears. The cricket kits for us are precious just like Gold, specially the balls and the bat.
I like coaching but I love playing cricket too.
I love to visit India and other countries also include Australia, Pakistan, New Zealand, and England.
7. What are the challenges you are facing in your country's cricket? If any, how do you feel to overcome those challenges?
We have a lot of challenges currently. We don’t have a good cricket board to manage.
*Cricket is unknown game to many of us in our country.
*We don't have enough shops to buy cricket kits and equipments.
*We are a small group in our country who know and love cricket.
8. One thing that you instantly need that would boost the involvement of people in your country's cricket?
The one thing what we need is the kits. Proper Cricket kits and with our love, we can do miracles.
9. Tell in brief (One paragraph). Which country are you supporting this World Cup? And Why?
I support the team who is honest and play fair cricket. To answer just one country, I support team India and wish they win World Cup this year and Dhoni hits the last ball six and make it an amazing victory.