ALI IS 30....
Comme le temps passe.... How
First time I saw Alister, Manchester 2004, February to be
exact, for the British Nationals. First round, he plays
Johnny White - who'll go on and win the tournament
representing Scotland - and gives him a hard time, 15/8
What struck me at the time was not his game but his spirit.
There he was, on a main stage, glass court and all, and was
he apprehensive? Did he give too much respect to John, like
so many younger players do with their idols? Nope, not for a
second. Ali was on the court to win. Not to play his best.
is a strange bird. You see the locks, the rasta look, and
you think... mmm, trouble. But in fact, an angel in disguise
he is. The boy goes to Church every Sunday, and like a David
Pearson or a Thierry Lincou, is a very religious person.
I remember his face when he was asked to hide the cross
around his neck once in a rather strict Muslim country. He
was not happy, my Ali was...
Ah, he is very shy too, contrarily to the image he wants to
give of himself bless him.
His sometimes loud attitude again some refs and straight
talk got under the skin of a few, but I for one absolutely
adore the boy. He is a true human being. What you see is
what you get. He is faithful in his friendship, a hard
worker indeed, and he loves the game, a very attacking
squash, fast and physical - Shabana once stated that he was
playing like an Egyptian, how's that for a compliment.
After a few ups and down, he now lives in the States, in New
York to be exact, and has now found a true balance in his
life. He is back in Manchester at the moment for the British
Grand Prix, it will give him the opportunity to catch up
with a few mates of his, "Secret Coach" David Pearson, Nick
Matthew, and his manager, Paul Walters, among others....
to the Social Networks and a few tournaments here and there,
I still stay in contact with my Botswana number 1 player (he
changed allegiance a few years back from England back to his
native country) once in a while.
I miss him.
Happy birthday son....