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The Qatar Cricket Association (QCA) has appointed Rizlan Iqbar as the new captain of the Qatar national cricket team.
Rizlan was promoted after demonstrating his leadership qualities and his consistent successful performance at the domestic and international level. He will lead Qatar in the upcoming tournaments in Tanzania and Canada, scheduled for July 2022.
Sri Lankan-born Rizlan has been playing for Qatar’s national cricket team since 2010 and was the vice-captain of the team since 2016. He is also the captain of Galfar Cricket Club (GCC), the official cricket team of eminent Qatari contracting company Galfar Al Misnad.
Galfar Cricket Club has been representing Galfar Al Misnad at competitive cricket tournaments of various formats in Qatar since 2006. The team is now in the Premier Division of QCA. Rizlan is also the head coach of the team and was recently certified as an ICC Coach Tutor by the International Cricket Council (ICC).
“This is a great achievement in my cricketing career and I am overwhelmed with this recognition of my cricket journey. It is a great honour for me to lead the Qatari team. Great positions, of course, come with great responsibility and I look forward to taking up this challenge to the best of my ability. I am immensely grateful to the QCA President Sheikh Abdulaziz bin Saoud Al Thani; Galfar Al Misnad Executive Director Satish G. Pillai; and the managements of QCA and Galfar Al Misnad for their support and for giving me this great opportunity,” said Rizlan on his new appointment.
It was in 1996, when Rizlan watched Sri Lanka lift the ICC World Cup Cricket trophy that the passion for the game was ignited in the then young 11-year-old boy. His idols have been wicketkeeper/batsman Romesh Kaluwitharane and former Sri Lanka cricket captain Kumar Sangakkara.
Inspired by these sportsmen, he started playing the game and went on to represent his school St. Anthony’s College (Kandy, Sri Lanka), in the Under-13, 15, 17 & 19 teams and he participated in all tournaments at the inter-school level. He was also captain of the 2004 1st XI team. His national level career began when he became a member of Sri Lanka cricket pool Under-15, 17 & 19 respectively. Rizlan entered the international cricket arena through Sri Lanka’s U-19 team in 2003/2004. He went on to be the vice-captain of Kandy Cricket Club from 2004 to 2005.
Rizlan was recently named Man of the Match against Malaysia in the Cricket World Cup Challenge League A 2019, and Man of the Match against Maldives in the ICC World T20 Asia Qualifiers A, 2021.
Rizlan, who is an IT professional, joined Galfar Al Misnad in 2006 and has captained the Galfar Cricket Club since 2015, winning numerous Man of the Match awards.
Under Rizlan’s captaincy, the Galfar Cricket Club has won top tournaments at the domestic level and recently qualified for the semi-finals of the ongoing QCA T20 Cup 2022 after topping the points table during the league matches.
The Qatar team that Rizlan takes on is currently ranked #23 on the ICC T20I rankings. Other than Rizlan, four members from GCC also play for the Qatar team. Since Rizlan’s entry into the national squad in 2010, 16 members of Galfar Cricket Club have played for the Qatar team and all have contributed to the national team’s performance at ICC cricket tournaments.
Galfar Al Misnad has long recognized the important role that sports plays in creating leaders, nurturing team players, and boosting company morale and unity. It was this belief that led to the creation of Galfar Sports Club, which offers opportunities to all employees to participate in different sporting activities throughout the year. The Galfar Sports Club’s shining star is the Galfar Cricket Club which has made a mark for itself as one of the highest performing cricket teams in Qatar.
“Rizlan played a key role in transforming the Galfar team from its C Division standing to a leading team of QCA’s Premier Division in a matter of few years. We wish him well and look forward to see him similarly take the Qatar team to great success under his leadership,” said Satish G. Pillai, Executive Director of Galfar Al Misnad.
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