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Full name Umer Bin Abdul Rashid
Born February 6, 1976, Southampton, Hampshire
Died April 1, 2002, Concord Falls, Grenada (aged 26 years 54 days)
Major teams British Universities, Middlesex, Sussex
Batting style Left-hand bat
Bowling style Slow left-arm orthodox
|List A span||1995-2001|
Rashid, Umer Bin Abdul, drowned at Concord Falls, Grenada, on April 1, 2002 in an unsuccessful attempt to rescue his brother, Burhan, who had been sucked under the water. Umer was 26, Burhan 18. The double tragedy occurred while Rashid's county, Sussex, were in Grenada for a pre-season tournament. He had been with them for three seasons and was as much admired for his friendly, easy-going personality as for his explosive left-hand batting and slow left-arm bowling. Born in Southampton and raised in Middlesex, Rashid was spotted early on and shone throughout the 1995 Under-19 series against South Africa in a team led by Marcus Trescothick and featuring Andrew Flintoff and Alex Tudor. Rashid hit 64, batting at No. 11, and 97 not out in the first two "Tests" and took ten for 71 in the last. While studying at London's Southbank University, he was also in the Combined Universities squad for the Benson and Hedges Cup from 1995 to 1997. Middlesex gave him a Sunday League game in 1995 and a first-class debut in 1996. But with Phil Tufnell the resident left-arm spinner and Owais Shah, Rashid's exciting young Ealing club-mate, hitting first-team fifties while still at school, opportunities were few and far between. Rashid's 1999 move to Hove made good sense and paid immediate dividends. Maybe his bowling needed time to develop - at times he looked to be putting the ball there rather than spinning it - but the advance in his wristy batting was a revelation. He hit his maiden hundred, 110, and a second-innings half-century against Glamorgan at the Colwyn Bay run-fest in 2000. His 106 at Chester-le-Street a year later set up a Sussex win which he completed by taking four for nine inside ten overs. In 41 first-class games Rashid scored 1,421 runs at 25.37 and took 49 wickets at 42.30, with a best return of five for 103 at Northampton in 2000. His 71 one-day games produced 564 runs, with a best of 82 for the Universities against Hampshire in 1997, and 73 wickets including five for 24 at Swansea to boost Sussex's promotion drive in the 1999 National League. They had high hopes for him; fate cruelly decided otherwise.
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