The QCA’s Manzoor Ahmad and Malik Nazar Mohammad flank an engineer from the Qatar Olympic Committee at the Industrial Ground

After thirty years playing on a mixture of concrete, matting and other artificial surfaces, Qatar’s cricketers finally have their first turf facility, The Industrial Cricket Ground, about eight kilometres from the centre of Doha.

The ground was donated to the Qatar Cricket Association by their Chairman, His Excellency Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Jabr Al-Thani the Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Qatar, along with the Secretary General of the Qatar Olympic Committee His Excellency Sheikh Saoud Bin Abdulrahman Al Thani.

“We are extremely grateful to their Excellencies for giving us this ground. It is a big step forward for Qatar cricket. The ground, specially built for cricket by the Qatari state, has a seating capacity of 1500 people and has floodlights,” says General Secretary of the Qatar Cricket Association Manzoor Ahmad.

Before and before that in Qatar

Qatar has made attempts to create turf wickets before, at Westbay on the outskirts of Doha, but they proved untenable in the conditions. This new ground is expected to be in use by October this year. There are also hope that an adjoining piece of land becomes available, which could be used for practises. “It’s great news for Qatar,” says the country’s ACC Development Officer Iqbal Sikander. “For all their talent, so many times we have seen Qatar’s cricketers struggle in international competition on turf. Now they have this facility their international performances and rankings have every chance of improving.”

Related: Qatar Country Profile

Filed Aug 20th, 2009