Signs of developing cricket’s greater expansion comes with news that Kuwait will host the Pepsi ICC World Cricket League Division 8 in December 2010. The World Cricket League structure sets the pathway for more countries to qualify for World Cup 2015. World Cup 2011 had five divisional qualifiers for global Associates and Affiliates to join the top-most teams.
Kuwait and Bhutan are ACC participants in the eight-team event.
|Bhutan’s senior team in Chiang Mai, Thailand|
Bhutan first started playing international cricket in 2004 and for them to come so far so fast, and be on the pathway to World Cup glory is most commendable. National coach Damber Gurung says, “Bhutan participating in Division 8 means a lot to us. We are now being given opportunities and it is all because of our hard work. Being in the international platform we will make sure we will not miss this chance. I now know cricket in Bhutan will grow faster than before.” Cricket in Bhutan is a recent development, the tiny mountainous country only being made aware of the sport this century.
|Kuwait Cricket’s Asad Baig|
Kuwait Cricket General Manager Asad Baig said that the hosting of this tournament is another advance for cricket in Kuwait and “will be a real test of skills for the administration and the organizing committee. Kuwait will take advantage of its reputation as an emerging cricketing nation capable of hosting international cricket events. We are looking forward to hosting a great championship in the true celebration of cricket,” says Mr. Baig.
Kuwait Cricket already have four turf grounds and are working on their fifth. The new ground in Salmiya will be completed by July 2011.
ACC Chief Executive said, “Kuwait fully deserves this honour. They have worked extremely hard on their grounds and facilities as well as their cricket. We’d like to congratulate them and wish them all the best in the hosting of this tournament.”
Bhutan and Kuwait will take on Gibraltar, Suriname and Vanuatu along with three other teams yet to be confirmed. Asia’s success on the field in recent World Cricket League events has been significant and substantial. Afghanistan rose from Division 5 to earn ODI status in the past two years, Oman and UAE reached the 2009 ICC World Cup Qualifier, Hong Kong gained promotion to Division 3, Bahrain won Division 7 in Guernsey, hosts Singapore won Division 6 and Nepal are looking to lever their home advantage in February’s Division 5 WCL to further prominence.
Filed Nov 19th, 2009