In response to enquiries from fans and media interviewers about me personally, here are some fun facts.
My father was born in Sialkot city - British India in what is now Pakistan. His father served in the British Army in the UK from 1940 - 1945 and later moved to Kuwait where the whole family, including my father joined him.
My mother was born in the then British territory of Kenya as a British citizen, where her family had settled in the 1940s, also from what is now Pakistan. Her father was a prominent international businessman whose business took him to the USA, Africa, Middle East and many Europe countries during the 1960s.
After independence, both families moved back to their family hometown in the newly created Pakistan for a few years which is where my parents met and were married – then moving to Kuwait.
After spending early years with my siblings in Kuwait, in 1984, when I was five, the family moved to London. During the next few years the family moved backwards and forwards between the UK, Kuwait and Pakistan, before finally settling down in the UK.
During my teenage years in Pakistan I developed a great desire to be a sportsman inspired by such heroes as Imran Khan. This desire to be a cricketer was so intense that I managed to excel as a schoolboy batsman, scoring ten centuries and five fifties in the 20 matches I played against other schools in the 1994 season.
I earned the rare opportunity to attend Imran Khan's Cricket Clinic trials in 1994 and was later selected for an under-sixteen camp at Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium. The Dawn, the English daily newspaper in Islamabad published a headline, "250 players selected from bulk of 5000" and I was one of the 28 players fortunate enough to be selected out of those 250.
During the rigorous final selection when I had only faced two balls, play was stopped as Imran Khan arrived to inspect the trials. On seeing my legendary cricketing icon I was so inspired and overwhelmed that when the trial resumed I hit 2 boundaries and two 6s from the eight balls allocated to me. Imran Khan was so impressed by my batting technique that he called me over and, putting his arm around my shoulder, he said "If you continue to play like this you will surely establish yourself in the Pakistan cricket team."
Anwar Maqsood, the team selector who was present then included my name for the under-sixteen team to tour South Africa & Australia. As it turned out this was the peak of my short career – though it is one of which I am still very proud. I never did get to go on the tour. My head master and parents decided that my academic studies were suffering because of my extreme focus on cricket and decided against any further involvement in cricket. At the time professional sport was not seen as a preferred career option.
Even though my dream of becoming a cricketer was over, I still believed I could excel elsewhere. Being influenced by Bollywood movies and the legendary Amitabh Bachan, I was inspired to take up an acting career. After moving to the UK, I enrolled to study acting at West London College located in Hammersmith and to study dance at the Pineapple Dance Studio. My goal was to prepare myself for the acting career by the time I reached 25. Again my path was blocked when family responsibilities forced me to give up my studies and take on the more conventional role of breadwinner.
Interested in the welfare of the community, at the age of 20, I became a volunteer member of the UK Labour Party to help campaign for local councillors and Members of Parliament. For a while I also worked as a volunteer at the local office of the Racial Equality Council in London and for some other services.
For a number of years, I was proprietor of "Star Chauffeur Services" a car service licensed by Transport for London, operating in the West London area.
I am currently developing a new import/export business while keeping my options open for other opportunities.