THE INCREDIBLE STORY OF FURQAN'S T20 SHIRT

With 2020 now drawing to a close, we thought that we would take a look back at one of our favourite stories from the year.

It’s a story that highlights the power of social media and also the worldwide appeal of Somerset County Cricket Club.

It is also the story of a very special shirt!

This article was first published in February.

Somerset supporters who follow the Club via social media will have recently seen a competition which offered a shirt worn by Babar Azam as the prize.

Over the past few years Somerset County Cricket Club have developed a strong affiliation with fans from Pakistan.

In 2016 Somerset hosted the team from sub-continent in a tourist match ahead of which the Pakistan team spent an hour coaching some young local cricketers.

The team took part in a similar event ahead of last year’s ICC Cricket World Cup.

In addition to this, players such as Abdur Rehman,  Yasir Arafat, Sohail Tanveer, Azhar Ali and Babar Azam have all strengthened ties between Pakistan and the Club in recent years.

Of course, when the competition for this particular item was launched, there was immense interest from Somerset fans both in the UK and abroad. In line with our social media policies, a winner was selected at random and notified.

After speaking to our winner, Furqan, it became apparent that sending the shirt to his home would prove problematic.

He lives in a very remote area on the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan, somewhere close to the Himalayan mountain range.

Nonetheless, the Commercial Team at Somerset were determined to see Furqan receive his prize, so we packaged up the shirt, attached a Google Map marker and a Facebook profile picture to help the people from his local post office identify him.

The chances of success were described as slim, but two weeks after posting the prize we received a lovely set of messages from Furqan, whose shirt arrived that morning. “Thanks for your gift,” he said. “I will never forget this moment. Thank you 1 million times and I will always follow and stay in touch with my beloved Somerset CCC”.

Furqan is now a Somerset fan for life and will be following matches via our live streaming service from the Himalayas.

This is an incredible story and an example of Somerset’s global worldwide appeal in the cricket community.