The Myanmar Cricket Federation report on the construction of their first cricket ground: “The square has filled up with clay; the preparation of the grass plantation is in progress; water has been stored inside and outside the ground; the water pipeline and the drainage for the ground specially on both sides of the wicket has been done”.

Near the banks of a river on the outskirts of Yangon, Saw Pong is looking to be ready after the end of the monsoon. “There’s about 8-10 tons of clay to still be put on prior the final leveling of the wicket and then to do the top dressing after planting of grass and rolling,” advises ACC Development Manager Bandula Warnapura and it’s a race against time to powder the clay, dry it, bag it and keep it dry before and during the rains.

Ground equipment has yet to be purchased. Fencing is going up and a pavilion and outbuildings are being constructed, with the ACC Development Manager, who spent a week at the site, recommending “grass carpeting on 25 yards x 25 yards first so that the centre pitch can be used for the U-19 training with astroturf immediately as this will allow national coach Ashfaq-ul-Islam to do his work in getting the team ready for the ACC U-19 Challenge tournament in Malaysia in July.”

When it rains, and when it doesn’t

Myanmar’s coach has always said that building a ground where Myanmar’s cricketers could train and play would be the best possible thing to develop the sport in the country. “There’s talent here, there’s a great desire to play good cricket, there’s a good number of schools wanting to play. Up to now there hasn’t been anything but small wooden-floored rooms and sometimes a bit of a football ground to play on. Given this chance, Myanmar could really show themselves to be good cricketers,” says Ashfaq-ul-Islam.

Myanmar Cricket Profile

Filed April 8th, 2011