In a small but significant first step towards strengthening cricket culture in Cambodia, an introductory course on umpiring was held at the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia’s headquarters, with a similar one on scoring to follow.
The four-day umpiring course, attended by 20 participants including three women, was conducted by former Pakistan Test umpire Syed Mahboob Ali Shah, who had the distinction of standing in the 1987 World Cup final between Australia and England at Calcutta’s famed Eden Gardens. He also did duty during the 1996 World Cup in Sri Lanka.
The course is one of the Asian Cricket Council’s main initiatives to ensure overall development of the game in countries where cricket is still in its infancy, like in the case of Cambodia where a cricket association under the NOCC umbrella was formed in late 2011.
Presiding over the closing ceremony of the course on Sunday, the president of the Cricket Association of Cambodia, Vath Chamroeun, who is also NOCC secretary-general and an advisor to the Ministry of Tourism, noted that the spread of the game had been steady rather than spectacular.
“It takes a long time for a game like cricket, which is totally new to the population, to take its roots. We are on the right path. I hope with the ACC’s support we can gather momentum,” Vath Chamroeun told the Post.
CAC secretary-general Vira Vuth said the response to both these short-term courses had been well above expectations and as many as 47 participants had enriched their knowledge of such demanding tasks as umpiring and scoring, which form the integral part of the game.
In his address to the participants, Syed Mahboob Ali Shah had a word of praise for their enthusiasm and passion for learning. The course on scoring concludes at the end of the week.