By NAN Sports Editor
News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. Sept. 3, 2021: It’s been 20 years already since Caribbean immigrant and Guyanese-born cricketer, Nezam Ahmed Hafiz’s life was cut short in the September 11, 2001 attacks at the World Trade Center. Friends of Maple Grove Cemetery in Kew Gardens will pay tribute him tomorrow, Sept. 11th, in a virtual tribute event set for 4 p.m. on the Friends of Maple Grove Cemetery’s Facebook page.
The right-handed middle order batsman who bowled right-arm medium pace would have turned 52 this year. Instead, he was killed while working as a financial assistant for insurance company Marsh and McLennan, whose office was on the 94th floor of Tower One on that faithful day. The Muslim immigrant was the only cricketer killed in the terror attacks.
At the time of his death, he was living at South Ozone Park, Queens. His name is one of the 2,983 names inscribed at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum at the World Trade Center site and can be found on Panel N-6 of the North Pool.
Hafiz had made his name early in the sport of cricket. He captained the Guyana Under-19 cricket team in the 1988 Northern Telecom Youth Tournament, a tournament with other under-19 teams from the West Indies.
His first match as under-19 captain came against Trinidad and Tobago Under-19s, captained by cricket legend Brian Lara.
Hafiz made his first-class debut later that year for Demerara in the final of the 1988/89 Guystac Trophy against Berbice, with the match ending in a draw.
His debut for Guyana against Barbados in that same seasons Red Stripe Cup. Struggling to find a regular starting place in what was a strong Guyana team of the 1980s and early 1990s, he made four further first-class appearances for Guyana, the last of which came against the Leeward Islands. In his five first-class matches for Guyana, he scored 40 runs at an average of 10.00, with a high score of 30. He made two List A appearances for his home country, with both coming in the 1988/89 Geddes Grant Shield against the Leeward Islands and the Windward Islands.
He joined his parents and two older sisters in New York in 1992. Following his relocation to the United States, Hafiz went on to play a single List A match for the United States national cricket team against the Leeward Islands when the United States were invited to take part in the 1998–99 Red Stripe Bowl.
In his only major appearance for the United States, he was absent hurt in their batting innings. He also toured England with the United States team in 2000, one year before his life was cut short.
May he continue to Rest In Peace.