USAcricketers.com had the opportunity to talk with Usman Rafiq of Houston, Texas, who was recently selected to represent Team USA in the upcoming tour to Abu Dhabi and Muscat.
Q: How does it feel to be selected to represent Team USA on an international tour?
A: This has always been my dream. I feel amazing and honored to be part of the USA national squad.
Q: Where were you when you heard the news, and what was your reaction?
A: I was actually at work when I got the news. I felt completely numb but extremely happy all at the same time. It was definitely exciting to know that I was selected for the upcoming tour.
Q: Who was the first person you told about the good news, and why?
A: The first person I called was my wife, because she has been right beside me and very supportive throughout the entire time.
Q: You recently scored back to back centuries. How difficult was it to accomplish such a feat?
A: Honestly, the answer can vary from one individual to another, however, personally I can say that we all learn as we go by putting in the necessary time and effort. With that being said, I have been working quite a bit more on my fitness and skills both on and off the field. In my opinion this is making the difference in my game.
Q: What would you like to accomplish on the upcoming tour?
A: I want to have a successful tour as a team, and perform at my level best.
Q: Who is your role model?
A: From a young age, my older brother has always been my role model. He inspired and coached me for many years. I feel strongly that because of his role in my life I now have a strong foundation and deep love for the game.
Q: You have been around the cricket scene in the USA for a while, what keeps you going?
A: I have an indispensable amount of love and passion for the game. In addition, representing the USA has always been my lifetime dream. With the tremendous support of my family, friends and community I stay determined and self-driven.
Q: What advice would you give to a young and upcoming cricketer here in the USA?
A: Never give up or underestimate yourself. If you know you have the talent, keep working hard. Make the best out of every opportunity that comes your way.
Q: How difficult it is to manage cricket, family and work?
A: To be honest it does become difficult and challenging at times, but if you set certain goals in life you learn how to manage them all.
Q: Given the opportunity, which team would you prefer to represent, USA or Pakistan, the country of your birth, and why?
A: Definitely Team USA! Not only has it been my longtime dream to represent USA, but this country has given me so much recognition and opportunity in many aspects of my life. I feel completely honored.