September 27, 2001

Off The Beaten Track: Nepal, Micronesia, Swaziland, Uruguay

Mahendra Mapagunaratne
NEPAL Cricket Association of Nepal [CAN] is moving forward to take the game across Nepal with an ambitious five stadium project

Cricket Association of Nepal [CAN] is moving forward to take the game across Nepal with an ambitious five stadium project. Stadia would be constructed in Kathmandu, Birjung, Pokhara, Birathnagar and Sidarthnagar. This is consistent with their development plan of dividing the country into five regions.

According to former Australian captain Bob Simpson, the Pokhara Stadium could end up as one of the world's most scenic considering its back drop of the snow capped Himalayas range.

With its tourism potential, Nepal could realistically rival Sharjah as a popular off-shore cricket venue.

The cricket authorities in Nepal however would like to see Nepal more than an off-shore cricket venue. This region breeds Test nations!

Brian Rowe of the Australian Embassy in Pohnpei has taken up the challenge of introducing cricket to school kids in this Pacific archipelago of 600 islands scattered over 2900 square miles. At least in the main island of Pohnpei for a start! A soccer project initiated by the Australian Embassy is showing encouraging results with a dramatic increase in attendance of school kids.

Brian needs a cricket set to teach the kiddies the rudiments of the game an he has already sent an impassioned email to Matthew Kennedy - ICC East-Asia Development Manager, requesting for assistance.

The Kingdom of Swaziland is finally organising its cricket with the formation of the Swaziland Cricket Association under the auspices of its Olympic Committee. According to Muriel Hofer of the Swaziland Olympic Committee the objective is to train teachers in the game to spread the gospel at Primary School level.

At present there are 6 clubs who play league games with each other and a number of private schools too are involved in playing cricket in Swaziland. There are 6 grounds of good condition and various South African district teams cross the border to take on local opposition on these grounds.

Swaziland's one ambition is to apply for ICC Affiliate Membership prior to the December 31 deadline.

Cricket in Uruguay has been played since 1871 when the Montevideo Cricket Club was formed. However, there has not been a game of cricket there for the past 20 years and in an effort to revive the game a group of enthusiasts have made contact with ICC's Americas Development Manager Robert Weekes and Grant Dugmore - ICC's Unofficial South American Development Officer.

Three Kanga cricket sets have been sent by Robert Weekes to get the game going in British administered schools in Montevideo and the Uruguay Cricket Association has been formed to obtain recognition from ICC.


I look forward to your feedback and snippets of information on little known cricketing nations to -