ACC Development Officer Iqbal Sikander has returned from a visit to Qatar to assess their progress now that they have two fully-turfed grounds. The first ground is “a proper cricket stadium with seating for 13,000” says Iqbal, and has been built in the Industrial Area for the Qatar Cricket Association by the Olympic Committee. The other ground, Mesaieed is privately-owned and funded but open to the public too.

The Qatar Cricket Association have been trying to secure a turf facility for the past ten years and to now have two, of such quality, puts them in line to potentially host some ACC events. There is plenty of cricket played in the country and domestic tournaments will now be played at these grounds. Moreover, the grounds are being maintained to the highest standard with all the necessary equipment in place to ensure proper pitch preparation.

Practice facilities at Doha and Mesaieed

Iqbal reports that “the QCA has developed its existing practice facility from three nets to five with two astroturf and three concrete pitches where their various teams practice. They are also in process of developing four practice pitches (two turf, one astroturf and one concrete) at the Industrial Area Stadium.”

The schools program continues. The QCA has organized special coaching clinics in four Arabic-speaking Qatari schools (Al Razi School, Ali Bin Abi Talib school, Doha School and Imam Shafi). The Arabian PE teachers keep the programs running, with girls cricket the next to be introduced in the schools.

The U-19s practising

Saturday’s the day for matches; Trishane Nonis, a new national coach from Sri Lanka, is taking the U-19 squad through thrice-weekly practices in preparation for the ACC U-19 Elite in May. Semi-finalists in the last two U-19 events, a place in the Final this time would take them through to that all important global qualifier. Iqbal’s conclusion: “it seems that they are now serious in developing cricket and regain lost ground in the international circuit.”

Qatar Cricket Profile

Filed February 13th, 2013