Muslim cricketer feels 'more focused' on his game whilst fasting at late-night Ramadan sessions

Video report by ITV Wales Journalist Zaynub Akbar

As the month of Ramadan continues, Muslims across Wales are fasting as a way of practising self-discipline, sacrifice and empathy for those who are less fortunate.

Whilst you may not think that fasting is the optimum time to play sport, one sportsman has said it's actually having the opposite effect on his performance.

In order to diversify their sports further and cater to the vast Muslim community across south Wales, Glamorgan Cricket and Wales Golf have offered free late-night sessions for those fasting to maintain their links with sport throughout April.

Haris Jamil has played Cricket for nine years and has been taking part in the sessions.

He said that with Ramadan being a time to refrain from bad habits, as well as food and drink, he feels more focused on his performance.

Haris explained: "It does keep my focus, because when we're not fasting, we're tired, we just want some water or eat something just to refresh, but with fasting we know we cannot eat, we cannot drink, we just carry on with the game.

"We are mentally prepared for this as well. It makes it much harder, but it's more challenging and it works on our game more."

Calling Cricket a "beautiful game", Haris believes the sport does bring communities together.

Fasting, known as Sawm in Arabic, is one of the five pillars of Islam.

When asked why fasting is so important to him, Haris said: "As Muslims, we are looking at the people who are less fortunate around the world who don't get food every single day, they don't get clean water every day to drink.

The project has been well received with almost 50 people attending the first session. Credit: Glamorgan Cricket

"So in the month of Ramadan, we're going through what they go through and that's why fasting is very important to me", he added.

The late-night Cricket sessions take place once a week at 11.30pm-1am at Sophia Gardens in Cardiff.

It's hoped the project brings a "spirit of Welshness and togetherness", according to Mojeid  Ilyas, Diversity Community Officer at Cricket Wales.

He explained how the aim is for everyone to enjoy the game of Cricket, "regardless of their race religion or gender".

With more than 55,000 Muslims living in Wales, Wales Golf have also hosted free sessions in the evening for those in the Muslim community to enjoy the sport.

Simon Lu, Community and Development Officer for Wales Golf, said the project has been welcomed by the community.

"This definitely goes a long way for us building those connections and our relationship within the Muslim community.

"Our long term aim is to diversify the game of Golf and have more people from those communities playing at club level, representing the country and into membership as well."

In addition to the Ramadan sessions, there will also be a six-week programme with beginner sessions and female-only classes for those in the Muslim community to enjoy Golf.