The refugee and the Black Cap
In his short life, 5-year-old Muhammad has had to deal with his father’s murder, fleeing from Afghanistan and moving to the other side of the world.
However, his mother hopes playing cricket will now help him forget all they had to endure.
She’s still worried the death threats could follow them to New Zealand, so she has adopted the alias Shogofa for their safety.
‘‘I said to myself that one day my son will be a superstar for New Zealand. And I will be a person to work hard for New Zealand because, in bad times, New Zealand helped us and one day I will help back,’’ she said.
That dream is supported by Hamilton-based social enterprise The Waterboy, a group which links sponsors and kids who wouldn’t otherwise be able to play sport.
Muhammad will now have mentoring, fees paid and transport arranged.
And he’s met Black Caps cricketer Tim Southee, who fell in love with cricket when he was about Muhammad’s age.
Muhammad donned a golddetailed Mumbai Indians shirt for a game of backyard cricket on the outskirts of Hamilton.