Women's cricket is a new and welcome initiative in Asia. Women's cricket is an extremely progressive and very welcome initiative in Kuwait.

Because of Kuwait Cricket and royal patron Sheikha Naeema Al-Sabah, women's sport in Arabia as a whole is getting a boost through Kuwait's hosting of this ten-team multi-national event, the first of its kind in the country. The fact that Afghanistan’s and Iran’s women cricketers have had to withdraw due to elements in opposition to women’s sport within their countries, puts into perspective just how progressive are the other countries taking part in this event, the hosts, defending champions Hong Kong, previous finalists Thailand, Bhutan, China, Malaysia, Nepal, Oman, Singapore and the pioneers of women’s cricket in the Middle East UAE.

Cricket's advances on this front, though late in happening and yet to fully develop, are progressing rapidly. This will be the fifth Asian Cricket Council women’s tournament since the inaugural one in 2007 which was won by Bangladesh. Tournaments like these go a long way in advancing the cause of sport and social advancement.

Hong Kong, Nepal and Thailand are strong semi-final prospects with Bhutan and China contenders too. Hosts Kuwait are a better side than ever before and are capable of some strong performances, as are UAE. Malaysia and Singapore have some fine cricketers too and though Oman may struggle they are capable of springing an upset or two.

Many of the cricketers on show were at the Asian Games in Guangzhou in November last year, and matched themselves against some of the best in Asia, alongside other intermittent fixtures in and with the Test-playing nations. There is quite a gulf evident between the Associate and Affiliate cricketers and those above them but tournaments like these can only serve to improve standards.

ACC Women's Twenty20 Championship 2010

Filed February 18th, 2011