The Zulfiqars set to make cricket history
In what is almost certainly an unprecedented occurrence, the 15-year-old triplet sons of former Dutch international Zulfiqar Ahmed will all play alongside their father in the ACC team in Thursdayís Topklasse match against Dosti Amsterdam at Het Loopveld West.
Asad, Saqib and Sikander will be making their debut in the 50-over competition, although all three have had a run separately in ACCís side in this seasonís Twenty20 Cup. Asad marked his entry into the senior side by taking four wickets against Kampong Utrecht, while at the same time Saqib and Sikander were performing well in the second eleven in the Overgangsklasse.
Now 46, Zulfiqar senior has had a long career in Dutch cricket, playing 355 matches in the top flight for Excelsior í20 Schiedam, Voorburg, Gandhi Amsterdam and ACC since 1990, and making 7974 runs at an average of 25.08 and taking 333 wickets at 25.22.
He played 71 times for the Netherlands between 1991 and 2002, scoring 1209 runs at 20.15 and taking 21 wickets at 36.95. The highest of his seven half-centuries was 87 against Ireland in the 2001 ICC Trophy, in which Zulfiqar was a key member of the winning Dutch side.
The triplets have been part of the Dutch Lions programme for the past three seasons, Saqib winning the Steven Lubbers Trophy in 2010 after making 99 for the Dutch under-13 side against Surrey at the Arabian Cricket Festival in Brighton and being nominated Player of the Tournament.
But considering that they were playing in ACCís third team last year, their rise has been meteoric: ACC club coach Anton Roux is obviously convinced, however, that they are ready to face the challenge of Topklasse cricket.
Itís every cricketing fatherís dream to play in the same team as his son, but to do so in triplicate is extraordinary, and it is difficult to believe that it has ever happened before in the gameís long history.