Picture by Ko Aye
ACC Development Officer Rumesh Ratnayake has completed his first assignment in Myanmar. During his week-long visit he examined the Myanmar Cricket Federation’s administration procedures, inspected facilities and conducted two 2-day workshops for the local batsmen and bowlers. “There are encouraging signs, it’s a matter of channelling those positives and working in a more productive and professional manner to build a sustainable future for the development of cricket in Myanmar, ” says the former Sri Lankan national coach.

The most encouraging discovery made by Rumesh in Myanmar was that junior involvement has already “surpassed the 8,500 mark” this year. MCF Joint General Secretary Michael Moosajee and national coach Ashfaq-ul-Islam Bappy attribute this to the carnivals and promotional work done with Myanmar’s schools. “I emphasised the importance of catching them young for cricket, even at the age of 9,” says Rumesh.

Greeting a new audience at Insein, north Yangon.
Picture by Ko Aye

During his workshops for 16-players at a time Rumesh observed that the local batsmen were stronger than the bowlers but practise facilities are minimal, particularly in the monsoon season. There is a makeshift indoor venue for nets at a football stadium but it has only two lanes available. The national cricket ground at Saw Pong (Shew Pin Long) impressed Rumesh with its size and the fact that “it is maintained reasonably well. This could be developed into a very good ground if looked after and made better use of.”

Saw Pong during the rainy season in July

There is not enough equipment to play with in the country, some of it, in the absence of fresh requisitions in disrepair and much of what there is, is unsuitable for youngsters . Given its political and commercial isolation, the challenges to develop cricket in Myanmar remain quite formidable and until the state is brought in to support cricket, cricket development remains precarious. On his next visit to Myanmar in early 2015 Rumesh is hoping to conduct a Level 0 course and a coaches workshop, followed by a Level I coaching program in the second quarter of the year.

Myanmar Cricket Profile

Filed August 25th, 2014