Time for a change
Welcome to the latest edition of Beyond The Test World, our regular digest of news from the non-Test nations. In this edition, we preview the Middle East Gulf Cup, report on the start of the Papua New Guinea season, update you on the Moroccan domestic competition and last weekend's Jakarta Sixes, and reveal which associate country is looking for a new coach:
The Royal Dutch Cricket Association (KNCB) has already received "expressions of interest" from prospective candidates ranging from a former coach of a Test team to a recently retired Test player, to replace the outgoing coach Emmerson Trotman, its president, Rene Van Ierschot, revealed on Friday. van Ierschot said the KNCB had decided not to renew Trotman's contract when it was "mutually agreed after eight years it was time for a new broom to sweep the floor for a fresh approach". He continued: "We and the players also felt it was time. He has done a magnificent job, taking us to an ICC Trophy win, two European Championships and our first win in a World Cup."
He added it was hoped the new coach could be announced in around six weeks. "We want to take time to get the right man." Peter Cantrell, the former Queensland opener and Netherlands batting coach, will oversee the team until a successor is appointed.
Meanwhile the Dutch national team will not return to Cape Town for their annual off-season training camp, because of budget constraints.
ICC High Performance Manager
The ICC will hold personal interviews with the short-listed candidates for the High Performance Manager's position in November, according to its Global Development Manager, Matthew Kennedy. The successful applicant will replace Bob Woolmer, who resigned the position earlier this year to become Pakistan's national coach.
United States of America
Experience on turf pitches is expected by some US cricket observers to be the decisive factor in the United States national titles which start today in Los Angeles. Woodley Park is American cricket's best turf-wicket complex, and some commentators think that the zone with the most players who have played on grass will have the edge.
New York go into the finals with a real advantage, with six points brought forward from the Eastern Conference trials which they won, ahead of Texas-based Central West (five points), North West from San Francisco (five points) and Atlantic from Washington DC (four points).
The final is on Sunday: we hope to bring you reports and scorecards at the conclusion of each day's play.
Middle East Gulf Cup
The Persian Gulf countries, which created such a stir at the ACC Trophy earlier this year, are this week battling against each other in the Middle East Gulf Cup in Kuwait. Bahrain, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia are competing with two teams from Kuwait in the event, which is due to finish today. The Omanis, who created history by becoming the first ICC affiliate member to qualify for the ICC Trophy, are arguably the favourites, and are headed by their star allrounder Hemin Desai. Kuwait, the host country, opted to spread their best players among two teams, the Blues and Reds, as they canvass their options leading into the ICC World Cup Repechage series next February in Malaysia. We will have a full report of the tournament next week.
Papua New Guinea
The first century of the new season from Sisis Edward was not enough for the defending champions, United, to avoid defeat against Raukele in the opening round of Papua New Guinea's Port Moresby competition last weekend. Edward scored 105 in United's 234 for 4, before Raukele overhauled the target thanks to national player Jamie Iga's 72, losing just five wickets. Eight teams play in the competition, which is the strongest league in PNG and the main supplier of players to the national team. Around 56 teams compete in five grades in Port Moresby, including a seven-team women's league. The main impediment to cricket's growth in Port Moresby is lack of suitable grounds. Cricket is also played in PNG's second centre, Lae, as well as various villages.
As you reflect on life, do you ever wonder "Whatever happened to Gary Cosier?" Well, we can report that the Australian who scored a century on Test debut in 1975-76 now oversees Abdur Rahman Bukhatir's cricket and golf interests in Morocco. He also doubles as Our Man in Tangier, from where he reports that the countdown is on until MCC arrives for a two-match visit (October 13-15). Gibraltar will quickly follow, also for two games. Meanwhile, Casablanca are leading the eight-team national league, which resumed this week. Proudly claiming a 95% indigenous-participation rate, the league boats five teams from Rabat, two from Tangier and one from Casablanca. Fath Union Sport won the first title of the season, winning the King's Cup final against Casablanca, scoring three runs from the last ball. The Moroccan Sixes have been postponed until April 2005.
Seanayan have won their third successive Jakarta International Sixes tournament, defeating their local rivals Perkarsa in the final. Senayan, who comfortably chased down Perkara's 45 within the five overs, scooped the individual awards: Vibhu Prakash scored the most sixes in the tournament on the way to earning the Best Player award. Srinivan Krishnan (Best Bowler) and Perkasa's Rajeev (Best Batsman) also excelled. Balinese teams also stood out - the Bali Gekkos held off Singapore's Bull Frog Jacks by 15 runs in the Plate final, while Udanaya provided the romance, fielding a totally Indonesian squad, including several national players. A training session organised by the Indonesian Cricket Federation was held on the Sunday.
Next week: a preview of the Chilean season, the first in a regular series on countries' preparations for the World Cup Qualifying Series Repechage in Malaysia and the ICC Trophy in Ireland, plus more. To send information about cricket in your country, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. To send a scenic shot of a cricket ground in a non-Test country for our 'Ground of the Week' segment, please email email@example.com.