Seychelles announce plans for new cricket ground
A month after securing Affiliate member status of the ICC, Seychelles have announced plans to build an international standard field to encourage the growth of cricket on the island nation.
At a gathering to celebrate the Seychelles Cricket Association (SCA) becoming the 105th member of the ICC National Sports Council chief executive Alain Volcère declared that a plot of land has been demarcated on Ile Persévérance for the construction of a new field.
“We believe that this is a significant asset which will hopefully provide a source of motivation towards the development of the sport,” said Volcère.
“It is our hope that the SCA will seize the opportunity of its new position and the growing popularity of cricket worldwide to try to generate more interest and participation amongst all those longing to get involved in a sporting activity as players, volunteers or even sponsors.”
Local cricket head Jonathan Paul described SCA’s application as an ICC member as “a long, arduous journey” before thanking the Seychelles government and all those who helped in the process.
He then read out two letters of congratulation received from new ICC president Sharad Pawar and Africa Cricket Association (ACA) chief executive Cassim Suliman, who also heads the development programme for Africa at the ICC-Africa Regional Office.
Former SCA chairman Ayub Suleman said he was proud that Paul and his team had made his dream of making SCA an ICC member come true and thanked them for pushing up the number of cricketers and teams. Suleman said that when he left as cricket head in 1995, there were five teams and 75 players, but now there are eight teams and 150 players.
SCA’s application for ICC membership was approved by 104 members during the international body’s annual conference in Singapore from June 27 to July 1. The local cricket fraternity made the application to become an ICC member earlier this year and Suliman visited Seychelles in January in order to check on the country’s readiness for Affiliate member status.
Liam Brickhill is a freelance journalist based in Cape Town