Hand-made cricket

The monsoon season is upon Myanmar and getting everything ready in time at the new ground Saw Pong has been a monumental task. “We’ve had to plant turf across the outfield and square and as you can imagine, in Myanmar, there may be manpower but there is very little equipment. It has all had to be done the simple way,” says Myanmar’s coach Ashfaq-ul-Islam.

Close to 19,000 square metres has had to be sodded, turfed and flattened since the start of the year – with it all having to be securely planted before the rains came in May. The heavy rains enable the lush growth of grass which means that the moment there is any respite, the turf needs to be cut, rolled and levelled. ACC Development Manager Bandula Warnapura who has laid more than a few grounds over the years has provided detailed instructions to the Myanmar curators. “Once you roll or notice that the water is getting as 'puddles' on the outfield, spread sand by hand and get it levelled. To do this someone should walk and watch the outfield during rain,” he has told them.

The rain has however meant that the U-19 team’s training has had to move off the clay centre wicket to the small gymnasium they have been using in other years. “It’s not much but it’s the best we can do, and at least the boys get some feeling of bat on ball and do a little bowling,” says Myanmar’s coach.

“Once this ground in Myanmar is up and running Myanmar cricket will definitely improve. They have a good base there and are triers,” says the ACC Development Manager, who will return to Myanmar to apply the finishing touches to Saw Pong in August. “A lot of hard work has gone into making this ground by a lot of people and once the ground is complete they can be very proud of their efforts.”

Related Articles:
Myanmar Cricket Profile
Work Goes On In Yangon

Filed June 1st, 2011