Durban-based journo and single mum Fatima Asmal is currently on a holiday break in Cape Town with her ten-year-old son Amr, a cricket super-fan. Asmal, a keen follower of the sport herself, kept her friends and followers updated via Facebook on the pair’s exploits during the test series between The Proteas and the West Indies, and it’s making more than just a few people go “aw”.
From chasing Amr’s hero Shivnarine Chanderpaul to grabbing a chat with commentator Michael Holding to sitting around waiting for the rain, rain, to go away, the mother-son duo are raking up a bunch of new fans on social media with their dedication.
As soon as they had touched down in Cape Town, the cricket-obsessed cutie could barely contain his excitement.
A die-hard fan of West Indies cricketer Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Amr made it his mission to meet the star batsman, renowned for his unconventional batting stance.
And some pesky rain wouldn’t stop Amr from sticking around to meet his icon.
He even got to have a telephone chat with his hero after the Windies team had a bit of a disappointing performance on Monday.
Amr also made time to meet another West Indies cricketing hero, all-rounder Darren Sammy.
The highlight of Amr’s trip was delivering his letter to Chanderpaul after the test .
Highlight of Amr’s trip: he wrote Chanderpaul this letter (see pix) and took it to the team hotel with a little souvenir after the game – he sat patiently at the entrance waiting for the bus to arrive and when it seemed it wasn’t going to come, we decided to leave the items at reception a floor above the entrance. However we had barely left when one of the hotel staff came to tell Amr to come down quickly as the team had arrived. In the lift he asked Amr who he had come to see. When Amr said it was Chanderpaul, he said he had been the first one to get off the bus and was already gone up to his room. Amr was visibly disappointed. This wonderful soul then said ‘Come with me,’ took him to reception, told him to wait there and went up to Chanderpaul’s room to deliver the note and gift. A few minutes later he came down and told Amr that Chanderpaul was coming to meet him. Voila. He did indeed. He came with the gift of a training shirt in hand asking ‘Are you the little man who’s waiting for me?’ shook his hand asked where his mum was and sat with us for around ten minutes. Amr became tongue tied so I did most of the talking. When I asked if Amr could email him, he said he could Whatsapp him instead! Even sent us a test message so that we could save his number. After he left Amr said: ‘I can’t believe that happened. That was so cool. That felt like an interview.’ (He has watched me interview people before and I guess when he became shy, I went into journalist mode and asked many questions) #DiariesOfACricketSingleMum #Cricket #Amr #Chanderpaul #cricketadventures #Windies A photo posted by Fatima Asmal (@fatima_asmal) on
Asmal posted this touching update, a message to Amr, which is so sincere and heartfelt it would make even the most stoic shed a tear.
Big, big ups to #DiariesOfASingleCricketMum. Fatima and Amr are keeping it real.
-Featured image: Amr on the plane to Cape Town, proudly showing off his autograph book. Via Facebook.