Ibby's VIP Cricket Experience

Cricket fan Ibrahim enjoys exclusive opportunity to watch Bangladesh take on India in Beckenham

Credo Care has delivered another success in its unique Dream Making initiative.

12-year-old Ibrahim, known as Ibby, has leukodystrophy, high medical needs and profound and multiple learning difficulties. He lives with Credo Care’s specialist foster carers Aleatha and Andrew in Kent.

Ibrahim has Bangladeshi heritage and is a fan of quintessential summer bat-and-ball game cricket. Despite being an avid viewer of Cricket World Cup DVDs and Ashes Series matches downloaded to his tablet, Ibby had never attended a cricket match in person.

With a framed Bangladesh cricket jersey taking pride of place on his wall, Ibrahim’s foster carers hoped he’d be able to one day watch his favourite team play.

12-year-old cricket fan Ibrahim

12-year-old cricket fan Ibrahim.

And on Wednesday 7th August 2019, not only did Ibby attend his first match live and in person, he was able to witness Bangladesh take on India in the Tri-Nation Under-19s Tournament at The Kent County Cricket Ground, Beckenham.

Ibrahim and his foster family were treated to this exclusive VIP package courtesy of Kent County Cricket Club.

Their host for the day, Anna Spencer, Venue Operations Manager at Beckenham, gave them a tour of the grounds, including the pavilion and recently modernised indoor cricket school.

Ibrahim with foster carers Andy and Aleatha Neaves as well as his foster brother.

Ibrahim with foster carers Andy and Aleatha Neaves as well as his foster brother.

Ibrahim and his family were seated immediately adjacent to the pitch on a neighbouring bench to the Bangladeshi and Indian coaches, managers and non-playing team members.

With a clear view of the pitch, he watched entranced as the 50-over match ended in no result due to rain.

Ibrahim meets Bangladesh U19 team members Prantik Nawrose Nabil and Shoriful Islam

Ibrahim meets Bangladesh U19 team members Prantik Nawrose Nabil and Shoriful Islam.

The result aside, the standout part of the day was when Ibrahim and his family were taken to meet the Bangladesh team during the lunch interval. They also met the match’s umpires, former England cricketer Martin Saggers and county cricketer Steve O’Shaughnessy.

The match umpires (former England cricketer Martin Saggers and county cricketer Steve O’Shaughnessy) meet cricket fan Ibrahim

The match umpires (former England cricketer Martin Saggers and county cricketer Steve O’Shaughnessy) meet cricket fan Ibrahim.

Anna and the team at Kent Cricket had kindly gifted brand-new Slazenger bats to Ibrahim and his foster brother and the Bangladesh team were thrilled to sign these for their eager fans as well as posing for photographs with the boys.

Ibrahim is delighted with his brand-new Slazenger bat, signed by members of the Bangladesh U19 team

Ibrahim is delighted with his brand-new Slazenger bat, signed by members of the Bangladesh U19 team.

With typically British intermittent spells of sweltering heat and sudden downpours, the match took frequent weather breaks and ended in no result. Carers Aleatha and Andy said none of this mattered to Ibrahim.

“His dream was definitely made today. He usually gets a bit fussy after too long outside, but he didn’t get upset once today; he was completely engrossed in the game and the atmosphere,” said Andy.

“It was wonderful to see how happy he is to watch cricket live and not just on the television. We will be taking him to many more matches now,” said Aleatha.

Credo Care’s Dream Maker Naomi Nixon had approached Girlings Solicitors, sponsor and Legal Services Partner of Kent Cricket, to ask if they could help deliver a ‘wow’ moment to Ibrahim after learning about his passion for the sport.

Girlings liaised with Kent Cricket’s Commercial Director, Emma Santer, who has worked at the club for almost four years and was thrilled to say ‘yes’ when approached on behalf Naomi and the Dream Making project.

“We were delighted to be able to assist with this project and pleased that everyone had a great time. All the match day and pre-match day organisation was due to Anna’s hard work along with her dedicated team, but I was pleased to be able to liaise with Girlings to help facilitate this amazing day,” said Emma.

The Bangladesh U19 cricket team with cricket fan Ibrahim

The Bangladesh U19 cricket team with cricket fan Ibrahim.

Naomi is excited to have delivered another dream for the initiative:

“Ibrahim’s smile when he got to meet the Bangladeshi team was a joy to witness. Ibrahim is an amazing young man who, with the help of Credo Care foster carers Aleatha and Andy, has made phenomenal progress. It was a privilege to be able to make this happen for him, with help from Girlings and Emma, Anna and the team at Kent Cricket.”

Note: Ibrahim’s carers and his placing local authority have given full consent for this story and photographs to be published.

If you would like more information about this event or to learn more about Credo Care’s Dream Making initiative, please:

Carers with Credo Care can submit ideas and suggestions for their foster children’s dreams through our Credo Care Portal.