The dawning of Salmiya Cricket Stadium, September 2010

Kuwait is developing an ODI-standard ground. The ground, in Salmiya one of the most prominent areas of Kuwait City, is currently under construction and once completed will be the fifth turf facility in Kuwait. “We have been planning and working on this for more than three years already,” says Kuwait Cricket Director General Asad Baig, “and thanks to good work from everybody we are on target for completion by the middle of 2012. We then hope to invite the top teams to play here.”

Kuwait will be hosting Pepsi ICC World Cricket League Division 8 in November 2010, at its four other grounds at KOC Hubara, KOC Unity, Doha and Sulaibiya. ACC Development Officer for Kuwait Iqbal Sikander who recently completed an assignment in Kuwait reports that even though Sulaibiya is currently suffering due to a lack of water in the summer months the situation there will soon be rectified and all grounds will be in good shape. Kuwait, fourth in the overall 2007-2008 ACC tournament rankings hosted the ACC Trophy Elite finishing eighth out of 10, and along with Bhutan, who finished ninth, will be taking part in WCL Division 8.

“Our ambition has always been to do the best we can on the field but there are some things you cannot control as easily as the construction of a ground, which itself is hard enough!,” says Mr. Baig. “Kuwait’s cricketers really deserve all the support Kuwait Cricket can give them, many of them sacrifice a lot to play. Sometimes their results do not go as well as we would like but without support there would be even less success. The ACC Trophy, ICC Division 8, Salmiya all these are the stepping stones to more achievements.”

Kuwait Cricket’s Haider Farman and Asad Baig

“What distinguishes Kuwait in comparison to other developing countries and gives them a very good chance of succeeding is the close relationship they have with their Olympic body,” says ACC Development Manager Bandula Warnapura. It doesn’t hurt of course that the Olympic Council of Asia has its HQ in Kuwait and shares a common executive in Haider Farman (Secretary General of Kuwait Cricket and Manager Asian Games Department for the OCA).

Salmiya was actually once planned to be a unique hybrid of turf wicket and Astroturf outfield in a mixed-use project catering to Salmiya’s residents but now it will be fully turfed and will be what so many of the long-established cricket grounds of the world, built between 1850 to 1950 are – a showcase for the best possible cricket in a central residential and commercial area. Cricket will become increasingly central to Kuwait’s sporting destiny.

Salmiya Park
Turf’s Up in Kuwait
Kuwait Cricket Profile

Filed September 28th, 2010