|Many of Kuwait’s diplomatic corps at the core of Kuwaiti cricket, Sulaibiya, February 2014|
It's taken Kuwait Cricket three years, permissions from two different Ministries, the digging of a well, the creation of a reservoir, the installation of a pump and fully automated irrigation system. Finally, Sulaibiya has water, a lush outfield, turf wickets and a brand new cricket ground.
“It is the result of a lot of hard work and particularly as the Ahmadi KOC grounds are being renovated this season it was very important that we were able to give Kuwait’s cricketers another ground to play on,” says Kuwait Cricket Director General Asad Baig. These are times of expansion for Kuwait Cricket, “more cricketers from more communities are making themselves known to us and asking us to arrange matches for them,’ says Mr. Baig. Already this year a new Banking League joins the Shipping League and multi-division club leagues in Kuwait. Sulaibiya was launched with a much-garlanded OSN Cricket Cup opening which had the Ambassadors of Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, Great Britain, Malta, Nepal, South Africa, Sri Lanka and Deputy Chief of Mission of India in attendance along with many prominent personages from the Pakistani community of Kuwait joining the great and the good of Kuwait Cricket, ACC Development Officer Iqbal Sikander and Mahdi Al-Juma, GM of OSN.
The OSN Cricket Cup is a 24-team T20 event and runs until April at Sulaibiya. OSN Chief Marketing Officer Hamad Malik said: “As the undisputed home of premium cricket, OSN is committed to promoting the sport across the region especially in Kuwait which has a strong following of cricket. OSN will continue to invest in cricket and young talent, bringing live cricketing action closer to fans.”
Later this month a six-nation tournament will be played at Sulaibiya with teas made up of resident Afghanistanis, Bangladeshis, Indians, Pakistanis, Sri Lankans and for the first time a team of Kuwaiti nationals will be playing in a Kuwait Cricket event. “We are very happy to welcome these cricketers to Kuwait Cricket, in fact when Haider Farman, Secretary General of Kuwait Cricket) announced this, the next day we had more than 30 Kuwaiti nationals come for our nets”, says the avuncular Mr. Baig. “We are hoping also, because of Haider’s position in the OCA, that Kuwait will confirm its participation in the men’s event of the Asian Games” (which is only open to passport-holders), he adds, “which will be a unique step forward for a Middle East nation in cricket.”
On top of benefits in kind from the local authorities, Sulaibiya’s development has cost KWD 38,000 (US$ approx. 133,000) and has been funded by the ACC ground development grants over the past three years. Two more grounds in Kuwait are in the pipeline for later this year, bringing their number to 12.
Pictures courtesy of Kuwait Cricket
Kuwait Cricket Profile
Filed February 6th, 2014