Bahrain in Guernsey in 2009, on the way up, Pepsi ICC WCL Division 7

Since the start of this year, two weeks after winning the ACC U-19 Challenge and three months after they reached the Final of Pepsi ICC World Cricket League Division 6, Bahrain’s cricketers have lost their regular training facility the BCA Academy at Al Najma, their position in the top 10 of the ACC Elite, couldn’t advance out of Pepsi ICC World Cricket League Division 5 and finished sixth out of ten at the ACC U-16 Elite.

“The National Team took part in the WCL which was held in Nepal without proper training as there was no facility as mentioned above. The poor results of the WCL tournament is the proof. The Under-16s had also come to Nepal without proper training,” says ACC Development Officer for Nepal Rumesh Ratnayake.

But a change is going to come.

The largely ACC-funded BCA Academy at the Al Najma Club in Manama, which had fencing, lights, synthetic wickets, nets, which Rumesh says was “a very effective area for training as it had a grassed football ground adjoining this,” was closed off to the Bahrain Cricket Association (BCA) following a 312% increase in rent by the club. The matter has been resolved to the extent that a fresh one-year lease has been negotiated by the club and the BCA, which while not totally satisfactory to the ACC, at least gives Bahrain’s cricketers time and room to develop.

The Academy in use in 2009

“Unless fresh thinking is applied, cricket in Bahrain is in a very difficult. It is a shame because under their coach Mohsin Kamal they were doing well,” says Rumesh. “Another problem they have is that the senior side is made up of players who are 28-34 years old, and there is an urgent necessity to develop a healthy and skilful younger generation.”

Bahrain’s triumphant 2009 U-19s

To that end, on his last visit to the Kingdom Rumesh unrolled his ‘Think Out of the Box’ presentation, and headed for the schools. He visited four, and “to my surprise they were all very keen to start and participate in any tournaments organized by BCA. I was invited to the assemblies of these schools and had a chance of encouraging the probables while telling the Principals that their teachers could be used and trained as coaches for the future by BCA/ACC for which they were very happy.”

His presentations at the school assemblies, assisted by Bahrain Level II coach Prachur Shukla, focussed on:
  1. How cricket can help team spirit which helps in normal day to day life.
  2. Cricket being a great leveler and taking humility as an example from great players, namely Sachin Tendulkar.
  3. To do small and simple things right which are appropriate in day to day life.
The Coaching Workshop

Rumesh also held a workshop for nine coaches (seven of them accredited Level IIs), via Powerpoint and “in the practical sessions I demonstrated and made them do and feel how important it is to have power and control, variational options and how to be more effective tactically. This was shown to them with the view that they can teach the kids, thus seeing results in a faster and more effective manner.”

Women’s cricket, Bahrain not yet fielding a team in ACC competition, was also examined by Rumesh, with him saying, “it looks they’ll have a senior side in 2011.”

“Bahrain have had a history of going one step forward two steps back, for a number of easily solvable reasons, now if they can just get things stabilized the cricketers and coaches who want to do well can really be a force in the region,” says Rumesh.

Bahrain Country Profile
UAE ‘Thinking Out of the Box’

Filed July 28th, 2010