November 24, 2007

Qatar

Qatar aim for girls' Under-19 tournament

ESPNcricinfo staff

The Qatar Cricket Association is putting together plans to field an Under-19 girls' side for the tournament in Malaysia next year. The board has already met to discuss plans and, according to one newspaper, the response was good.

Aruna de Silva, the QCA's head of women's cricket development, told the Gulf Times: “Everyone at the meeting was positive about the idea of promoting cricket among girls studying in schools in Qatar. The QCA is willing to support girls' cricket in schools with whatever help possible.”

If all goes according to plan, the association hopes that the girls will also be able to take part in the Under-19 tournament in China in 2010.

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Posted by Arjun Chaudhuri on (November 27, 2007, 12:38 GMT)

It is a good thing that Qatar, which hardly has a tradition in men’s cricket, is looking to promote women’s cricket in the country. This is definitely a laudable effort in the traditionally conservative Arabian peninsula.

Abdul Rehman Bukhatir had done a wonderful job in promoting men’s international cricket in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. But, apart from a forgettable outing in the ICC World Cup 1996, with a solitary victory over The Netherlands, UAE cricket has had little to write in its favour. It has failed to qualify in any of the following three ICC World Cups. However, it did manage to qualify for an Asia Cup in the meantime, however making heavy weather of both its matches. With the alleged development of Sharjah as a nerve-centre for illegal cricket betting, focus of UAE cricket is shifting to capital Abu Dhabi, hosting international and other First Class or List A matches. Oman, too has attempted to make it big with Sandip Patil having a brief appointment as its national team coach, with little success, though.

However, all such sporadic developments have remained restricted largely to men’s cricket. Promoting competitive cricket among women in the Arabian peninsula should be a healthy development not only for the world of cricket, but also women’s empowerment in the Arabian peninsula.

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