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With more cricket than ever in Saudi Arabia following the introduction of the Moneygram Cricket Ke Badshah Tournament on top of all the domestic cricket in place already across the Kingdom, there has been an urgent need for more umpires. 49 aspiring umpires have been taken through the latest ACC Level I courses by Mahboob Shah.

New Umpires In Singapore
31 cricketing enthusiasts, some of them players, part-time coaches and occasional umpires, have passed through a Singapore Cricket Association Level 0 Umpiring Course. The five-day course was conducted by ACC Umpires Educator Sarika Prasad, with P.R.Kumar and M.V. Ramesh. "If we don’t train umpires properly, cricket overall will suffer," says Sarika.

Nepal Prepares For ACC Premier With National Cricket
Eleven teams take part in the thirteenth National Cricket Tournament in Nepal this month, the 50-over competition in Nepal. The squad for the ACC Premier League which starts on May 1 in Malaysia will be selected based on performances in the event. There will be a one-week camp after the event prior to the national team leaving for Kuala Lumpur.

Lahore For Level II Coaches
Pakistan's National Cricket Academy in Lahore hosted the latest ACC Level II Coaching Program last week. 21 candidates, some of them renowned cricketers, were put through their paces by some other renowned cricketers – the ACC Development Officers Aminul Islam, Rumesh Ratnayake and Iqbal Sikander along with the Pakistan Cricket Board’s Ali Zia and Mansoor Rana.
Lamphun Lit Up By Bunchuai In Thailand's National Youth Games
Four years ago 18-year old Bunchuai Sombatraksa knew nothing about cricket. From the Akha hill tribe, living 700 kilometres north of Bangkok, the beneficiary of an outreach program set up by English expatriate Chris Dodd, Bunchuai's life before cricket revolved around the Buddhist seminary he has called home since the age of 11, and his six sisters. Last week in Sisaket, eastern Thailand, he captained Lamphun province to victory in the National Youth Games with a stellar performance, scoring 177 runs for once out in five 15 over-matches, and taking 10 wickets for 58 with his leg-breaks. Opening for his side, he was on the field for all but 3 balls of Lamphun’s matches. "He really is a quality player and is committed to cricket. We expect he will go far," says Cricket Association of Thailand’s Chief Executive Mohideen Kader.
Kuwait Regulates The Regular Umpires
17 of Kuwait's umpires have been through an ACC Level I Umpiring Program. The five-day course was administered by ACC Umpiring Resource Person Bomi Jamula, with support from Kuwait's Riaz Chaudhry. Run in the evenings of the working week, the interactive sessions "started by inviting the participants to think and list what makes a great umpire", said Bomi.
Malaysia Schools Umpires
21 candidates, made up of former national players as well as school teachers, have taken part in the latest MCA Level I Umpiring Course. The equivalent of an ACC Level 0, the program is intended to further familiarize the emerging umpires with field craft and the Laws of Cricket. "This annual program is set up to bring new umpires through to state level from school level," says Instructor Ramani Batumalai.
Level I Umpires Get A Step Up In Nepal
Such has been the success of the national team, the ubiquity of Nepal’s umpires at ACC and ICC events and the prominence of Buddhi Pradhan on the ICC Associate and Affiliate Panel of Umpires, it has been perhaps easy to overlook the need to assess emerging umpires in Nepal. That oversight has been rectified with an ACC Level I Umpiring Course, the first to be held in the country since 2004.
Arab Cricketers Play With The Rest In Kuwait
Kuwait's cricketing communities are getting together for the first time in the 68 years that organised cricket has been played in the country. A 'Six Nations Cricket Festival' is being held in March and April with players of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka making up the sides and most significantly, for the first time a team of Kuwait nationals is playing in a Kuwait Cricket event. "We are delighted to be able to include this team of Kuwait in the event, they are an up and coming side and it shows that cricket is catching on among the Arab people here," says Kuwait Cricket Director General Asad Baig.
Afghanistan And Sri Lanka Sign MoU
A "Memorandum of Understanding in the Field of Sports", one of four MoUs signed between Afghanistan and Sri Lanka during a recent visit by a delegation headed by President Hamid Karzai to the island nation is in effect. Afghanistan Cricket Board CEO Dr. Noor Muhmmad Murad who was part of the delegation after travelling from Bangladesh where he attended the Arise Asia Cup said: "The agreement with Sri Lanka comes at just the right time for Afghanistan. Over this year we will be preparing for the World Cup 2015 and every bit of support is immensely important."
Afghanistan: Australian Coach For New Academy
Work on the 650 sq m Academy building at Kabul Stadium started in the middle of last year and construction has been so rapid that in April it will welcome the best young cricketers from all over Afghanistan as well as an Australian. Peter Anderson, 52, former national coach of Papua New Guinea, Queensland first-class cricketer and still playing 2nd XI Grade cricket, has been appointed as Afghanistan’s National Academy Coach. "We have been tracking him for some years and have been very impressed by his record with PNG and his ability to develop talent," says Afghanistan Cricket Board CEO Dr. Noor Muhammad, "he will help us very much in implementing our strategy to create a line of cricketers who can compete at the highest levels."
Oman Receives ICC Associate Inspection
Following Oman's application for ICC Associate status at the end of last year, a three-member team from the ICC is visiting the Sultanate to make an inspection. The ICC team consists of Global Development Manager Tim Anderson, Associate and Affiliate Members Chairman and Associate Member Director Neil Speight of Bermuda and Associate Member Director Imran Khwaja of Singapore. ACC Development Officer Iqbal Sikander is liaising with the visitors and Oman Cricket and say, "Oman's application has building for some time and we are confident that they will satisfy all the criteria of the ICC for Associate status."