August 14, 2001

Off The Beaten Track: Burkina Faso, Cote D'Ivore, Lithuania, Suriname, Wallis & Futuna

Mahendra Mapagunaratne
Formerly known as Upper Volta this landlocked West African country with a French colonial heritage is not known for cricket

BURKINA FASO

Formerly known as Upper Volta this landlocked West African country with a French colonial heritage is not known for cricket. However this may change in the near future if the plans set in motion by two cricket lovers living in its capital Ouagadougou is put in place. According to S. Rajan and Deepak Ramchandani the recent visit to Burkina Faso by ICC African Development Manager Hoosain Ayob has set the ball rolling. They visited a school in the capital with a student population of no less than 5000 with a teacher strength of 200 to go with it and were impressed by the sporting facilities available there. The Headmaster of the school too has given his enthusiatic blessings to introduce cricket among its students.

COTE D'IVOIRE

My last feature on Cote d'Ivoire proved popular among Cricinfo readers. Therefore I thought of adding a few more lines on developing cricket among Francophone countries in Africa.

Hoosain Ayob and his team may do well to link with the European Cricket Council [ECC] with regard to obtaining French Video material and Manuals on cricket. These may prove to be very useful for likes of Cote d'Ivoire.

Another scheme that could be tried in Africa would be the 'Foster Parent Scheme' adopted in the East Asia/Pacific Region where First Class states/provinces 'adopt' minor nations. For instance South African provincial teams as Transvaal/ Natal/ Western Province etc. could 'adopt' some of these countries like Cote d'Ivoire. Over to you Hoosain!

LITHUANIA

This Baltic state famous for its 2800 odd lakes and willowy basketballers has a man with a mission by the name of Chris Butler working for PriceWaterHouse Coopers in Vilnius. He has already been in contact with Alison Smith of European Cricket Council and the aim is to attract a local school to be used as a guinea-pig for a Kwik Cricket project.

Interestingly, another cricket lover - Douglas Abrahams of Douglas Abrahams Architects in Vilnius too has visions of introducing cricket among Lithuanian kids and happily Chris Butler has been given Douglas' contact details.

SURINAME

This former Dutch colony in South America has a rich cricket atmosphere quite unknown to the outside world. Hope things would change after this article!

Suriname has no less than 15 cricket clubs with 7 in the capital Paramaribo and 8 in the Western District of Nickerie. The cricket seasons are from January to April and again from July to August.

Ram Hiralal the President of Suriname Cricket Association is looking forward to strengthening links with the newly formed Cricket Council of Americas and it is hoped that the benevolence of Robert Weekes - ICC Americas Development Manager would help develop cricket in this country famous for its virgin forests.

WALLIS & FUTUNA

I am certain Matthew Kennedy the energetic ICC East-Asia/Pacific Development Manager would be happy to hear of cricket in this French colony in the Pacific. Well known for its traditional cricket which is practised as a cultural activity to capacity crowds, Wallis & Futuna is taking steps to develop cricket according to MCC Rules.

According to Marie-Jo St.Pierre from New Caledonia, Wallis is closely working with the New Caledonian Cricket Federation with the objective of fielding a team at the 2003 South Pacific Games. Furthermore, New Caledonia has been generous by way of gifting cricket equipment to Wallis.

The Wallis & Futuna Cricket Association is headed by Viane Hoatau and it is hoped that the ICC East Asia/Pacific Region could take the country under its wings to develop cricket there. Certainly, the passion is there but what they lack is the money to buy equipment.

GENERAL

Kindly send any information on cricket in unusual locations to: minorcricket@hotmail.com

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