Cricketers win hearts of special needs kids
By Jamil Khan @ The Gulf Today-Sharjah, Feb 04, 2016
DUBAI: A group of prominent international cricketers and part of the Capricorn Commanders, participating in the ongoing T20 Cricket League in Dubai, visited Al Noor Centre and spent time with children with special needs.
The visit was the first time for key players from Capricorn Commanders including Paul Collingwood, Jeetan Patel, Sunil Joshi, Geraint Jones, Saleem Elahi and Rikki Clarke along with the noted Dubai entrepreneur Parvez Khan, the man at the helm of Pacific Ventures, the company behind many impressive real estate projects in the UAE. The visit was a homecoming to a favourite charity he has supported over the years.
Khan’s Pacific Ventures was instrumental in the refurbishment of the training centre a few years back. “For me it is both a personal mission and a corporate responsibility. I have always believed in giving back to the community something in return for the success that Pacific Ventures has had so far. On a personal note, these children have become close to me and I wanted to give them a reason to smile,” said Khan.
Children from Al Noor Centre welcomed the visiting players with open arms and gave them handmade gifts. The team got a surprise when they were given cookies baked by the children themselves. Aside from a heartfelt interaction with the kids, the team also met with the teachers and the management.
“I am so glad I joined the trip. I consider a privilege to be able to touch another person’s life, and by interacting with these kids today, I hope I had inspired them to be strong and healthy and to always have a positive outlook in life, no matter the circumstances,” said Paul Collingwood, Captain of the Capricorn Commanders.
Meanwhile, Isphana Al Khatib, Director of the Al Noor Centre, expressed gratitude for the visit and said, “We are thankful to Pacific Ventures and to Mr Khan for his continuing support which allows us to do our job of looking after the welfare of children with special needs, and in training them to become productive members of our society. Thanks as well to the Capricorn Commanders for an inspirational visit, their presence and message to the kids are very much appreciated.”
It is also mentioned that the Capricorn Commanders team owned by Parvez Khan, a prominent Dubai-based business tycoon and owner of property developers Pacific Ventures and Sohail Khan, Actor, Producer & Director from Bollywood in India. The Commanders comprise of a strong squad ranging from the likes of Vaughan, Paul Collingwood, Abdul Razzak, Andrew Symonds and many cricketers of stature. It offers a rarest-of-rare opportunity for fans to re-engage with iconic cricket greats who are off the ODI scene.