Bradford University bestows honorary doctorates on England cricketer & community activist

25th Dec 2020
Bradford University bestows honorary doctorates on England cricketer & community activist

(Photo courtesy of Javed Bashir)

Elham Asaad Buaras

Yorkshire and England cricketer Adil Rashid and community-activist uncle Javed Bashir were awarded honorary doctorates from the University of Bradford on December 9 during a virtual graduation ceremony.

Bradford born and raised Rashid, 32, is only the third Yorkshire-born Asian to play first-team cricket for Yorkshire and the first of Pakistani origin.

He is now considered to be one of the world’s best spinners and is a firm fixture in England’s one day and T20 teams. He played a significant role in England’s world cup success last year on June 21 in the match against Sri Lanka; he played in his 150th international match for England.

Rashid’s doctorate is in recognition of his outstanding career and his services to the communities of Bradford, including supporting activities that provide opportunities and improve the lives of young people.

“It is a great honour to receive this. I also send my congratulations to students graduating this year. My advice to you is to make sure you give 100 per cent and have a positive mindset in all walks of life because anything is possible,” said Rashid.

Alongside his cricket career, he runs the Adil Rashid Cricket Academy, with his brother, designed to inspire children to get into sports. He is also an ambassador for the Overseas Plastic Surgery Appeal charity, which provides free facial surgery for impoverished children and youths in Pakistan.

Community activist Bashir is recognised for his service to the community during the Covid-19 pandemic and his unwavering support to the university.

Bashir is the founder and CEO of the Professional Muslims Institute, Safeguarding Consultant for the Strengthening Faith Institutions (SFI), and has played a pivotal role in promoting better understanding, integration and community cohesion in the city for many years.

During the Covid-19 lockdown, Bashir teamed up with different faith communities to set up the Volunteering Interfaith Partnership in collaboration with Age UK Bradford & District and SFI. Together they responded to the urgent needs of elderly, vulnerable and isolated people by providing hot meals, welfare packs, help with shopping and collecting prescriptions and provided food to the NHS workers on the frontline.

In 2018, Bashir was included in a publication honouring the highest levels of achievement in the Muslim 100 Parliamentary Review and was awarded the Unsung Hero award by Keighley MP Robbie Moore for his innovative work in bringing faith groups together to help others.

He told this year’s graduates of the “obstacles, barriers and challenges” ahead. “Climbing the ladder of success is not going to be an easy task. The fear of failure keeps people from succeeding. You have to fail first, often to rise on the ladder. Always remember before you even learned to walk, you learned to fall.”

Adding, “If you win and become successful, always remember the people who helped you, no matter how talented you are and irrespective of the heights you have climbed. It wouldn’t have been possible without the help and support from others. Never forget where you started and never say good-bye to your people and your community.”

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