Like many this past fall, Dilawar Khan was moved by the news coverage of refugees making the dangerous Mediterranean crossing to seek safety in Europe. Khan, the owner of a limousine company in Virginia, decided he wanted to do something to help. Inspired by his friend and Refugees International Board member Lisa Barry, he decided to use his passion for cricket and organize a charity cricket match in support of Refugees International.
"[Ms. Barry] has been a huge inspiration for me personally. She has always been very kind, gracious and a mentor. Even after retirement, she has kept herself very involved with charity work," Khan told Refugees International. "I knew she was involved with Syrian refugees. So that gave me an idea to do something to help her in her cause."
A lifelong cricket player, Khan currently plays in the Washington Cricket League, and says the local cricket community is very tight knit. His friend and co-organizer of the match, Adil Bhatti, plays on the United States’ international team. The two were quickly able to assemble 22 cricket players – two full teams – for the October 31st match at Strawberry Knolls Park in Gaithersburg, Maryland.
A local cricket store, Noors Sports, generously sponsored the game and donated cricket bats and balls for auction. Khan, Bhatti, and their friends were able to raise more than $1,000 to support Refugees International’s lifesaving advocacy. Khan tells us that players and attendees had excellent time, and hope to turn the match into an annual event.
Team B, led by Shahrukh Mazhar, won the match.