The ACC Chief Executive Syed Ashraful Huq, Development Manager Bandula Warnapura and Development Officer Iqbal Sikander have completed a high-profile tour of inspection of Saudi Arabia. Jeddah, Yanbu, Dammam and Riyadh were the sites visited during an intensive five-day schedule which included a meeting with the head of the General President of Youth Welfare Prince Sultan Bin Fahd and Deputy Governor of Al-Baha Region and Patron of Saudi Cricket Centre Prince Dr. Faisal Bin Muhammad Bin Saud Bin Abdulaziz.

"It is clear that Saudi Arabia wish to progress, it is up to them to work with us to help them achieve their aims, which include better facilities, and more access to high-level coaching and umpiring," said the ACC Chief Executive.

The example of Afghanistan, an ICC Affiliate nation which has climbed the ladder at great speed and is now playing in a T20 World Cup as well as being an ODI nation has inspired Saudi Arabia and its confreres. The ACC Development Manager Bandula Warnapura noted at a press conference in the Kingdom, “Saudi Arabia has already established its mark on the international sports scene, especially in soccer where it played in four World Cups. But playing in a cricket World Cup could become a reality soon if things are put in the right direction and perspective.”

Looking to the future in Jeddah, Dammam and Yanbu

Notwithstanding the talent in the country, distance between the locus points of cricket in the kingdom (Riyadh to Dammam 400 km, Riyadh to Jeddah 845km) and the lack of turf wickets throughout the country has so far held Saudi Arabia back from being able to create a well-trained cadre of international cricketers.

Sites at Dammam and Yanbu have been identified as potential locations for cricket stadia and plans to develop them will form part of a detailed development proposal to be submitted to Prince Sultan this month.

Saudi Cricket Profile

Filed April 19th, 2010