Cricket: Meet Dubai-based owner of prized cricket memorabilia

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Cricket: Meet Dubai-based owner of prized cricket memorabilia
Hasnain Masood displaying his cricket wealth

dubai - Two decades ago when Dubai-based Hasnain Masood began accumulating cricket-related matter

By Randall Rosario

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Published: Wed 15 Jun 2016, 10:22 PM

dubai - Two decades ago when Dubai-based Hasnain Masood began accumulating cricket-related collector cards of a bubble gum back in India, little did he know that his teen passion could in fact lead to him being in possession of some of the most prized memorabilia of the game.
After years of perseverance and hard work, this 37-year-old soft-spoken, IT professional has today virtually turned his apartment at Discovery Gardens, into an area that needs to be explored. Enter his room and it a discovery in itself.
At first look, the neatly packed bubble-wrapped stocked items may just about disinterest you. But upon unveiling some of the items you will be left spell bound.

That's because what lies inside the protective layering are priceless artifacts. Imagine getting up and close to items such as autographed bats, actual match stumps, jerseys, helmets and gloves used personally by former players.
But sitting up there among some of the prized possessions is Sir Don Bradman's autograph on a replica bat used by the late legendary cricketer. One look at it and it will narrate how cricket has revolved. And to compliment that, Hasnain is also in possession of the match ticket of Don Bradman's final Test played during the 1948 Ashes series.
Matching up to that is Sachin Tendulkar's oldest existing autograph from early 1989, personally worn Mumbai Indians match jersey and a signed stump from the 1996 Wills World Cup match where Tendulkar scored his first World Cup century.
"I also have personalised autographs on bats signed by Sir Viv Richards, Sachin Tendulkar, Mohammed Azharuddin and Rahul Dravid," Hasnain says as he points in the direction of his huge cache.
And yet, this is just the tip of the iceberg of what Hasnain has in his possession.
A journey that began since the time his late grandfather showed a paper cutting of the Indian maestro during the year 1989, Hasnain has not looked back. "I followed Sachin's career religiously. The 1996 Wills World Cup is when my passion reached its peak. I was in complete awe of his batting and sheer dominance of the game."
A collection of over 1,000 newspaper cuttings solely dedicated to Tendulkar and over 350 magazines featuring Sachin on the cover, including the maestro's first cover in November 1989 is testimonial of Hasnain's obsession.
"I am unaware of any Cricket Memorabilia records but I can safely state that as far as Sachin is concerned, there is nobody who can come close to my collection. Over 150 autographs from 1989 to date and counting. I can actually do a collage of how his autograph has evolved over 25 years."
Hasnain who got an opportunity to meet up with Sachin during his recent visit to Dubai in May, rates the iconic star as a down to earth person. "I have met him 6-7 times, Sachin has appreciated my collection. Over the last two decades I have met hundreds of cricketers, but there is no one who is as humble and down to earth as he is."
Speaking exclusively to the Khaleej Times, admitted it was the quest for Sachin that had indeed motivated him to collect rare cricket memorabilia from legendary cricketers such as Victor Trumper, Sir Donald Bradman, Gary Sobers and Sir Viv Richards to the present day stars Virat Kohli, AB Devilliers and Chris Gayle.
"What started as a hobby of a bubble gum collector cards has now turned into a fulltime hobby wherein I ended up collecting cricket memorabilia for 20 years now and still counting," he says.
Also in his possession is a collection of all World Cup Cricket final match tickets barring the 92 and 96 extravaganzas. "The rarest of them all being 1987 Reliance World Cup, which I have and which I can challenge that nobody else has"
According to Hasnain, every piece of memorabilia has a history and a story behind it. "Some of the match tickets have taken years to source. Sachin's first Test 100 match ticket took me eight years to find, Brian Lara's 375 and 400 took me nearly six years each. Bradman's last Test match ticket took me 18 years to find," said Hasnain, who boasts of nearly 1000 historical match tickets.
The United Kingdom, South Africa, Australia and India to great extent are places from where Hasnain has sourced most of his prized artifacts. "Majority of my collection has been collected in person and the ones that aren't have been sourced from reputable overseas auctions that provide proper COA's (Certificate of Authenticity)."
For the immediate future, Hasnain is keen to showcase his collection to the cricket enthusisats in the UAE as he envisions to open a state-of-the-art indoor cricket facility with a museum containing all his collections.
"The ultimate dream is to do a World Class museum right here in the heart of Dubai and I can say that I am very close to realising that dream.  It will be a Cricket Connoisseur's delight and it will be one of its kind," Hasnain was confident.
 *Sachin Tendulkar worn Mumbai Indians Jersey signed by him.
 *Rahul Dravid match worn RCB Jersey
 *Jacques Kallis's match jersey autographed RCB Jersey
 *Brian Lara's 1997 Natwest Test match Jersey and autographed gloves.
 *Vishwanathan Sadanand match jersey from 1985 Benson and Hedges final between India and Pakistan (India Won)
 *Shane Warne match jersey from 1993-94 season.
 *Venkatesh Prasad match jersey of 1999 WC.
 *Graham Gooch's personal used signed gloves
 *Virender Sehwag's signed gloves from the tour in which he scored his fastest ODI ton.
 *Match stump from India's 1st match of the WC 96 and Sachin's first World cup 100 (127 n.o vs Kenya)
 *Match stump autographed by Sehwag, who scored 219 vs West Indies at Indore Dec 8, 2011

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