Tuesday 9 January 2007 

Azeem Rafiq Shortlisted For TV Sports Personality Award

Yorkshire Under 15’s off spinner and bowler Azeem Rafiq has been short listed for the Junior Sports Personality of the Year Award at the Sony Entertainment Television Sports Personality Awards 2007.

The Awards celebrate South Asian sporting talent from the UK and beyond and are now in their sixth successful year.

With over 800 VIPs from the world of sport, business and showbiz attending a glitzy ceremony at the world famous London Hilton Park Lane on the 3rd February 2007, these awards are held in high esteem within the Asian community and the sports fraternity alike and act as a key means to promote up and coming as well as established Asian sporting heroes.

Millions of Sony Entertainment Television viewers in over 100 countries across the world will be tuning in to see who is crowned the Sports Personality of the Year. The public at large will be given the opportunity to vote for the award through nominee telephone polling.

A series of video clips featuring the nominees will be aired on the channel throughout an eight week promotional campaign, including Azeem in the nets at the Bradford and Bingley Indoor Cricket Centre at The Yorkshire County Cricket Club to encourage voting from around the world.

The event will be heavily promoted on Sony Entertainment Television Asia and by International mainstream and Asian press. Azeem Rafiq has been nominated for his cricketing achievements for Yorkshire and England. He played a big part last year in Yorkshire Under 15's winning the County Championship and the County Cup, this summer he became the first Yorkshire boy from an Asian background to serve as their captain.

Academy Manager Ian Dews said, " Azeem’s appointment as England captain only highlighted what we at Yorkshire have seen over the past 3 to 4 years, he is a very confident individual with a great work ethic who has qualities well above his year in the understanding of the game. I am very confident that we have a very exciting prospect that has all the attributes to progress to the highest level. His potential is also shown by his inclusion by ECB in the National Spin Development Group. Much of the credit for the development of Azeem must go to the youth structure and coaches at Barnsley Cricket Club."

Azeem came to England at the age of nine from Pakistan. He quickly adapted to his new life in Yorkshire and joined Barnsley Cricket Club as a junior who helped him develop into a promising off spin bowler. In 2006 he established himself in the Barnsley 1st XI, captained Yorkshire Under 15s side and is the only captain of the England Under 15s to go unbeaten at the prestigious Bunbury Festival.

The Yorkshire County Cricket Club wish Azeem the best of luck in the Awards, Chief Executive Stewart Regan said “It's great to see the up and coming talent from Yorkshire being recognised in such a prestigious Awards Ceremony. Azeem has had a fantastic year and is undoubtedly a bright prospect for the future. We wish him every success on the night and in his future career.”


Gillian McGuigan, Yorkshire CCC