ISLAMABAD - Sohail Chaudhry, brother of former Pakistan hockey team captain and 1994 world cup hero Mansoor Ahmed, has made the country proud by getting selected for the one of 16 honorary cricket players for the All-American college cricket team.

Talking exclusively to The Nation on Tuesday, Sohail, who is West Virginia University alumnus and Islamic studies teacher, said: “Last year, our cricket team got an invitation to participate in a tournament in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. We managed to reach the quarterfinals out of 28 participating universities."  “According to many statistics, cricket is the second largest sport in the world after soccer. The WVU has had a cricket team since 1996, which comprises of approximately 15 players each year. Cricket is a relatively new game in the US,” he said.

“I along with my friends wanted to promote and represent the WVU at the tournament and put our school at that national stage, being chosen for the honorary team was completely unexpected for me,” he added.  He said cricket was his passion and he wanted to be a professional cricketer. “I decided to stay at the WVU upon finding out there was a cricket club, and went on to receive a bachelor's degree in computer engineering from the university.”

“As well as playing cricket and teaching, I am also the imam of the Islamic Center of Morgantown and also a federal prison chaplain,” he stated.

Sohail's friends feel that he is a great player and also mentor for the other players. He deserves this great opportunity as he has good qualities to become an important part of the team as he is trying to build the college team to another level. He is like a coach to us and sets an example for the younger players.”

“I feel proud to be a Pakistani and get such a tremendous respect in the US. I would love to improve the image of my country here and prove a true ambassador of Pakistan,” Sohail concluded.