Brunei: Busy season building up to Borneo Cup - junior development starts

The current Brunei cricket season started with MJVI cricket league kicking off in March this year. Four clubs- Manggis, Menglait, Royal Brunei Yacht club (RBYC) and Panaga - participated in it. All matches were played at Panaga cricket ground, which is about 1 hour's drive from the capital city of Bandar Seri Begawan.

RBYC once again confirmed their superior cricketing skills by winning and retaining the MJVI league trophy for the year 2001. They have also won the glamour six-a-side tournament. RBYC had made a clean sweep of all tournaments last year and look determined to repeat the same feat this season.

Currently, the same four clubs are taking part in HSE Engineering tournament. The current season is indeed very busy as it is packed with a number of tournaments scheduled one after the other. Remaining events in the pipeline include the prestigious Galfar Knockout, PKNBD Super-Eight and IMEX six-a-side tournaments.

This year an important event for Brunei Darussalam Cricket Association is the holding of the Borneo Cup in Brunei. State teams from Sabah, Sarawak and Brunei will be competing for the Borneo Cup. Last year's holders Brunei will be defending it again this year. This tournament is over 50 years old. It is planned to hold it in the beautiful Jerudong Park grounds.

There is a development plan in place starting this year wherein five local schools have been chosen to participate in the pilot project. The idea is to have local boys playing cricket at the grass root level. A modified six-a-side Cricket tournament for boys will be held around October/November this year for the school children. Mr. Jenkins Dennis (President) and Mr.Basharat Ahmad (Honorary Secretary) of Brunei Darussalam Cricket Association are trying to secure sponsorships to upgrade the grounds that have been allocated for development of Cricket amongst the locals. However, the current economic downturn has made it much more difficult to find sponsors, especially for cricket, which has the reputation of being an expatriate sport in Brunei Darussalam.

The Brunei Cricket Association officials have been able to organize a number of tournaments every year despite the limited resources available to them. However, making cricket truly popular among local schoolboys calls for sustained efforts by PKNBD officials as well as strong support from ICC so that infrastructure and facilities can be improved. In this context, it is hoped that the ICC will provide all the necessary support to Brunei Darussalam National Cricket Association for developing Cricket in the schools.