SULTAN RANA: MOVING ON

How do you feel about the global development program?

I am pretty hurt regarding the reduction in the qualifiers for the World Cup from six to just four. It has basically undermined the entire development work that has been carried out for so long by so many. When there are six non-Test playing countries there are more chances of getting into the ICC Trophy and the World Cup. Now with four qualifiers it is going to be very tough for these four teams to get into the World Cup. The other regions have expressed concerns as well. From a development point of view, six teams was just right and justified the work done by the development side. Teams like Scotland, Ireland and Netherlands play a more semi-professional style of cricket and so Asian teams might struggle. Having said this, I still feel that Afghanistan, Oman or Nepal can probably make it alongside UAE.

I have enjoyed working for the ACC because the atmosphere in the office itself is very jovial. There have been challenges and it has made it very interesting. I am lucky to have a good development team to help me though the times. All the staff have helped stand beside the development team and it is us who come under pressure when teams are not performing well. Now that there are six teams vying for qualification to the World Cup I can say my team has done a very good job. Also having the Chief Executive who is a former cricketer has helped and will help a lot because he knows what should really be done to see cricket develop.

I think my working in the ACC will help me with my new job but only in certain ways. It is a completely different scene with a Test country because there are various things you encounter and to me if you don’t have a good domestic structure, you don’t get good national players. It is going to be a challenge but I’ve worked for the PCB earlier and I was member of the committee which restructured the cricketing system in order to develop regional cricket. I may not be directly involved with the ACC but should there be anything I can help with, I am always readily available.

With the ACC Chief Executive, Chiang Mai, January 2008

I think in ten years from now if we are able to pull out the Arabs, I would like to see them competing in a real cricket game. If the ACC can bring out these people onto the cricket grounds it will be a great achievement.

What are the development strengths of the ACC?

Any organization that has talent like two World Cup winners in Roger Binny and Iqbal Sikander, a Sri Lankan legend in Rumesh Ratnayake, our newest Development Officer and a national hero in Bangladesh, Aminul Islam and the tireless Dr. Paes as the Sports Medicine Officer is very lucky. We also have top umpires conducting our courses like K.T. Francis, Khizar Hayat, Peter Manuel, Sri K. Parthasaradhy and Mahboob Shah.

The team has taken on more and more responsibility and is running a number of courses themselves. Having been through so many Cricket Australia courses they know the science of communication as much as the science of cricket now and they are going to be doing an even better job in the future. Sometimes I think the countries don’t realize how lucky they are to have such experts guiding them.

We could get them more active at the highest level in each country they work in but a lot of that depends on how much the countries can make use of our Development Officers’ input. What is most heartening to see is that the youngsters in our member countries are playing so well and so correctly. Their coaches are ready and are now coaching the youngsters well. Quality youth cricket will mean quality senior cricket and that will give Asia more chance at the ICC world level.

Any final thoughts?

May God be with you all.

Filed June 9 2008