ISLAMABAD - First class cricketer, coach and head of Diamond Cricket Academy (DCA) Moied Shaikh has said that he is eager to produce quality cricketers, who may serve country in international matches.

Talking to The Nation, Moied said: “I have started the Diamond Cricket Academy with a noble cause of contributing towards society and I will never back off from this mission. I have faced a lot of hardships, but nothing can deter my passion and let me assure all that it is only a matter of time before this academy will be one of the best academies in the country. I will pass on all my experiences and abilities to the youngsters to transform them into quality players.”

Talking to The Nation, Moied said: “I was enjoying too much care and look after at my home by my father Shakil Shaikh, who served Pakistan cricket in countless roles and always put the country and talent way ahead then his own sons and personal ambitions. But people never spared me and my brothers, despite the fact that we have earned the right to play in different formats through sheer hard work, passion and performances.

But the critics never consider these simple facts and always find one or another reason to taunt my father and we had to face a lot of uncalled for criticism. The people, who know my father personally, are fully aware of the fact that he never compromises on principles and always prefer talent and merit to favouritism.”

Moied said he had played loads of regional and club level matches, before he was finally given the chance in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy matches. “I accept that I didn’t perform according to my abilities, but it was more to do with the ever-mounting pressure than my bad form. I had played only 20 first class matches in last 8 years, while I had played 8 One-Day Cup matches and 6 T20 matches in such a long career and despite taking wickets, I was left with no other option, but to turn my attentions towards coaching. I feel being a cricketer, Almighty has given me so much and I want to pay back in the best possible manner.”

He said he started Diamond Cricket Academy some five years back at old Diamond Ground, where his dad Shakil Shaikh had spent huge amount of money on practice pitches and fences. “We have also highly modern state-of-the-art bowling machine, while top coaches were also hired to train the youth. I must say that in very short time, we have managed to give Pakistan cricket a lot of players including Rohail Nazir, Arsal Shaikh, M Shayan Shaikh, Atif Khan, Sajawal Riaz, Haroon Wahid, Asjad Nawaz and many more.

“I am working very hard to provide Pakistan a number of off and leg spinners as well as all-rounders, as in modern cricket, the all-rounders have special worth. I have around 100 students at the academy and we are providing them around three hours daily training, besides physical fitness and gym training,” he added.

He said it is his request to Pakistan Cricket Board to help those genuine academies, who are working on no-profit and no-loss basis and helping national cricket in providing the players with gym, swimming pool, changing rooms and pitch covers besides other minor things, which will surely help youth a great deal.

“We are working so hard round the year to not only prepare grounds and pitches, but also arrange matches in Islamabad, Rawalpindi and other major cities of the country. Diamond Academy have travelled abroad as well and played a lot of matches. Islamabad and Rawalpindi are blessed with natural raw talent, the cricket grounds in Islamabad are second to none and role model for the other cities,” Moied concluded.