A 14-member Bahrain team will leave for Sharjah today where they will take part in the inaugural Asian Cricket Council (ACC) Men’s U16 West Zone Cup which, in an historic first, is being hosted by the Bahrain Cricket Federation (BCF).
The BCF was awarded the hosting rights for the new age-group tournament by the ACC late last month in a major boost for the sport in the kingdom. However, due to the lack of a cricket stadium in Bahrain, the BCF requested the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) to allow it to host the six-nation tournament in the UAE – a request readily agreed to by the ECB.
“It is a matter of great honour and prestige for Bahrain and the BCF to host such a major age-group ACC tournament which will, without a doubt, unearth many new future stars for all the participating countries,” BCF president Hatim Dadabai told the GDN.
“The BCF is immensely grateful to the ACC for awarding the hosting rights to Bahrain. We are also extremely thankful to the ECB for acceding to our request to host the tournament in Sharjah and for facilitating all the arrangements that will make this important championship a success for all concerned.”
The six-day tournament, which starts on Friday, will feature teams from the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman and Qatar along with Bahrain.
“Hosting this important tournament is a very big deal for Bahrain,” BCF chief development officer Gurumurthy Palani, who lobbied on behalf of the BCF for the hosting rights, told the GDN. “This makes our presence on the global cricketing map even more prominent. Cricket in the kingdom will benefit immensely from the exposure this tournament will bring to the sport in Bahrain.”
Since Bahrain are the official hosts of the championship, a BCF official will serve as tournament director, Palani said.
“Prachur Shukla, who is the BCF’s director for ICC and ACC affairs, has been appointed tournament director,” he added. “In addition, two local umpires and two scorers will also travel to Sharjah to officiate in and score the games, respectively.
“This is intended to give our local officials and other BCF staffers the chance to get some much-needed international tournament exposure which will prove beneficial for cricket in Bahrain in the long run.”
The Bahrain team will kick off their campaign on Friday with their opening game against Qatar at the Vision Cricket Centre.
The squad: Vishwaesh Gurumurthy (captain), Aryan Ashwin (vice-captain), Sai Sarthak, Muhammed Basil, Mohammed Adil, Ayan Obaid, Anas Obaid, Akshant Mukesh, Abhinav Girish, Aashish Sadashiva, Mohammed Shaheen, Jugal Jiger, Sunish Sunil and Shaurya Shyju.