ACC PREMIER LEAGUE: START OF A NEW ERAFive top ACC Associates and Oman - perhaps soon to be Associates themselves – are in Kuala Lumpur to play the first ACC Premier League. The tournament is a progression from the former ACC Trophy Elite which in itself was a development from the ACC Trophy. The growth and prowess of several countries in the past ten years has been such that there is a marked difference in ability between these top six and the rest. ACC Events Manager Sultan Rana says, "These countries go on the field knowing to expect that all their matches against the others will be competitive, there are no real weaker or stronger teams. It makes for better cricket, better competition, and a better allocation of time and resources."
CRICKET DEVELOPMENT CAMPS IN OMANTraining sessions for a new generation of cricketers in Oman have started. The sessions are being held once a week for children between the ages of 6 to 13. 36 children were at the first camp and many more are in the wings on a waiting list to take part.
CAMBODIA GETS GOINGThe ACC's Mahboob Shah has been in Cambodia to train the country's first batch of umpires. 44 university students as well as three PE teachers took part in umpiring and scoring programs. Following on, Rumesh Ratnayake was in Phnom Penh to assess local growth conditions. "There's a fair amount of enthusiasm there no doubt, and cricket has a good chance of catching on," he says.
TWO LEVEL I COURSES FOR SAUDI UMPIRESWith more cricket than ever in Saudi Arabia following the introduction of the Moneygram Cricket Ke Badshah Tournament on top of all the domestic cricket in place already across the Kingdom, there has been an urgent need for more umpires. 49 aspiring umpires have been taken through the latest ACC Level I courses by Mahboob Shah.
NEW UMPIRES IN SINGAPORE31 cricketing enthusiasts, some of them players, some of them part-time coaches, some of them occasional umpires have passed through a Singapore Cricket Association Level 0 Umpiring Course. The five-day course was conducted by ACC Umpires Educator Sarika Prasad, with assistance from P.R.Kumar and M.V. Ramesh. "If we don’t train umpires properly, cricket overall will suffer," says Sarika who has been on the ICC Associates and Affiliate Panel since 2005.
NEPAL PREPARES FOR ACC PREMIER WITH NATIONAL CRICKETEleven teams take part in the thirteenth National Cricket Tournament in Nepal this month, the established 50-over competition in Nepal. The squad for the ACC Premier League which starts on May 1 in Malaysia will be selected based on performances in the event. There will be a one-week camp after the event prior to the national team leaving for Kuala Lumpur.
LAHORE FOR LEVEL II COACHESPakistan's National Cricket Academy in Lahore hosted the latest ACC Level II Coaching Program last week. 21 candidates, some of them renowned cricketers, were put through their paces by some other renowned cricketers – the ACC Development Officers Aminul Islam, Rumesh Ratnayake and Iqbal Sikander along with the Pakistan Cricket Board’s Ali Zia and Mansoor Rana, present and past coaches of Pakistan U-19 and fine players themselves. "The whole course was conducted very well and our thanks go to the Pakistan Cricket Board and its coaching and support staff who contributed very significant modules," says Iqbal Sikander.
LAMPHUN LIT UP BY BUNCHUAI IN THAILAND’S NATIONAL YOUTH GAMESFour years ago 18-year old Bunchuai Sombatraksa knew nothing about cricket. From the Akha hill tribe, living 700 kilometres north of Bangkok, the beneficiary of an outreach program set up by English expatriate Chris Dodd, Bunchuai's life before cricket revolved around the Buddhist seminary he has called home since the age of 11, and his six sisters. Last week in Sisaket, eastern Thailand, he captained Lamphun province to victory in the National Youth Games with a stellar performance, scoring 177 runs for once out in five 15 over-matches, and taking 10 wickets for 58 with his leg-breaks. Opening for his side, he was on the field for all but 3 balls of Lamphun’s matches. "He really is a quality player and is committed to cricket. We expect he will go far," says Cricket Association of Thailand’s Chief Executive Mohideen Kader.