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In memorian Haney Zaidi

[door Robert Wolfe] I first met Haney at Hippo in 1999. He was the kind of guy that would spend some time alone on the pitch before a match. We once found the remains of a bird there so we joked that he was performing some kind of offering to the cricket gods to get his spin to turn and to not have a bad bounce when batting (which was a bit of a tall ask on the old Hippo pitch). We then nicknamed him Guru. He did bring a calm even spiritual element to our gatherings and to the game, his eyes always seemed to see more than what was just there. Not that he was a saint, in the pre- post- and during-the-match banter Haney was always in the thick of things, he loved mischief and a well-chosen tease or joke. We were the rebel team in a rebel club and had a strong predilection for doing things our own way and Haney could lead us in that and honor the game at the same time.


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Haney was always itching to set up something big. We joined ACC in 2005 and I think within one or two years Haney got sponsors and organized a short version tournament with all the Hoofdklasse teams with a 1000 euro for the winners. I don’t know how he pulled it off but he got the NOS to come with four camera teams. It gave the event a buzz like the KLM Open. You should have seen that Haney smile. Haney didn’t believe things were impossible, he had an infectious wide horizon for what he thought could be done. Then he would drag some of us out to an industrial/offices area in Amstelveen, show us a building and say that it could become an indoor cricket centre, just imagine, he would say walking around in the space, bowling machines, video coaching, performance tracking. He was more than a decade ahead of his time on that one.

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His biggest dream was to have a loving family, where respect for the beautiful person inside each other was guiding. I remember just after Haney and Karen had Raffi they invited the whole ACC team over, including some parents or regular spectators. We had an afternoon near the water with sublime food and fun and tall stories. The whole time Karen had one month old Raffi on her arm while she handed people drinks, encouraged them to eat more and laughed and shared with everyone. What a family they are with little Luca later as well. It was Haney’s greatest desire and greatest fulfillment as well. To love well is to live well and it helps our heavy hearts to know that our friend Haney, batsman, bowler, keeper if he had to, did just that and that when he left us he did so with gratitude and peace in his eyes. Guru go well to your next adventures. You will be remembered here.

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