Zaheer Saffie (left) collects an award from John Aaron.

By Saif Yasin
Zaheer Saffie was interviewed after being named Big Apple Cricket Club’s 2011 Most Valuable Player.

How does it feel being the club’s inaugural MVP?
A: I feel honored that I have been named MVP, but most importantly winning as a team is what matters the most to me.

As a cricketer, is there one role you prefer over another, if so, why?
A: I prefer both roles as batsman and bowler, simply because if I fail in one department I can make it up in the other.

Besides winning the 2011 EACA T20 championship what was the most memorable moment of the season for you?
A: It was when we played Hillside and I made 75 not out, I was getting into the right position, timing the ball very well and I felt very comfortable at the wicket.

How did you pick up playing the sport of cricket?
A: From my dad, he played at the first-division level in Guyana and most of my uncles and cousins played cricket at the club level.

How long have you been playing cricket?
A: Approximately 16 years.

How were you able to cope with all the pressure and responsibilities that go along with being a captain, and still manage to have a spectacular season?
A: It comes naturally when you don’t think about it, just play and enjoy the game. I also have many other senior guys on the team that give me advice or suggestions when needed.

Zaheer Saffie who scored 480 runs and bagged 18 wickets receives his MVP award from prominent commentator Lenny Achaibar

Is there any player that you model your game after?
A: Sachin Tendulkar, he’s an amazing cricketer, Any young cricketer growing up should model themselves after him.

How much do you see yourself being involved with the sport 5-10 years from now?
A: Hopefully representing the USA.

If you weren’t playing cricket what other sport would you have been playing.
A: Good question. I like sports in general, never thought about playing any other sport other than cricket.

What are your expectations for next year?
A: From a captain’s perspective I would like to see our team play more as a unit and be more successful by winning more championships. I expect other players to perform better, because they are very talented. In 2011 we only had a handful of guys performing and carrying the team.

Saif Yasin is a 16 year-old student at Scholars Academy and a member of Big Apple Cricket Club.