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A tribute to Haney Zaidi

A skipper’s dream by Mike Walsh 

I met and got to know Haney playing cricket with him and I was fortunate enough to be his captain for many years with ACC 4/ZOMI. Haney was a captain’s dream, he could open the batting and quite often wanted to. He could bowl medium pace or off-spin and was particularly adept at getting left handers out. He could keep wicket which came to my rescue on many occasions when our numbers were depleted and he could take a catch on the boundary, the scorebook will confirm as there were many entries that read “caught Zaidi, bowled Walsh” with Haney either behind the stumps or at cow corner. He could also drive which was so important for some of those tricky away games particularly versus Groningen CC most importantly Haney could form square again so important for those tricky away games particularly versus Groningen CC.Haney had an unperturbable quality about him such that no cause was ever lost, he could play a late cut which in my opinion is a sign of a quality batsman, and he had an infectious lust for life and for winning. After the game Haney was a thoughtful character and a great ideas man, he wanted to improve his lot and those around him and we should all aspire to be so. Later at ACC Haney helped out with coaching the kids at ACC and we renewed our friendship through our offspring, Raffi, Luca and Sean and all those junior games. In this aspect Haney demonstrated great patience, empathy and kindness which he seemed to carry with him after we had stopped playing serious cricket……….all cricket is serious!! You could have knocked me for six when I learned of Haney’s illness and the thought of losing one of life’s genuine good guys was too much. I talked to Haney close to the end and his bravery and concern for his family will remain with me. My thoughts and love are with Karen, Raffi and Luca with the hope that pain will one day give way to the memory of a loving husband and father who was an example to us all of how to do things the right way. “He who kisses joy as it flies Lives in eternity’s sunrise” Safe travels Haney! Skipper

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