Sandy Strang on cricket: Mr Renfrew bowls way to magical milestone

Congratulations, Sai Majeed. The affable Renfrew seam bowler notched the 1,000th wicket of his long career when he had Edinburgh Accies opener Nick Murden caught at the wicket in the recent SNCL encounter. "It's been a long time coming," reflects Sai. I reached 999 in last year's final SNCL Division 2 game at Whitehaugh, and I've had to wait an entire winter for the chance to reach the magical milestone.'

It's a just reward for the passionately committed seamer, who shares the moniker "Mr Renfrew" with recently crowned Scottish Sports Award Local Hero, coach and groundsman Paul Goodman. "This is my 28th season here," said Sai, 46. "I could have moved to a bigger club, and I did have a season at Shawholm with Poloc, but the lure of returning to Renfrew was too great. It's been a grand journey from the Glasgow League right through the lower divisions of the Western Union, winning the Small Clubs Cup and reaching the SCU Trophy Final en route. But the pinnacle of my career has undoubtedly been reaching the SNCL with Renfrew in 2004.

"We've even faced the threat of extinction because of ground difficulties, but we're now firmly established at King George V Park, and well on the way to cementing our status as a cricketing force in the land, and a respected pillar of the local community.

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"We already had a strong batting line-up from last season, spearheaded by pro Ahmed Said and veteran campaigner Anjun Aslam. But we've also made several important signings during the winter, principally much-travelled all-rounder Mohammad Ramzan from Corstorphine, keeper-bat Abdul Shakoor from Dunfermline, and Kashif Pervaiz from Edinburgh CC, which should enable us to push on still further."

The capture of veteran Ramzan as player-coach seems an especially shrewd piece of business. Ex-Drumpellier pro Ramzan, who played First Class cricket back home for 20 seasons, and even featured in a Test match for Pakistan against South Africa in Rawalpindi back in 1997, scoring a neat 29 before falling lbw to Shaun Pollock, was also once strongly touted as a possible player for Scotland.

Some seasoned observers are already tipping the Renfrew men for promotion to the Premiership this season. It's very early days yet but, if it does happen, they'll owe a lot once again to the tireless efforts on and off the field of Majeed. Well played, Sai.