Haider Farman appoints Gibbs as national coach
KUWAIT: Kuwait Cricket, the official governing body for Cricket in Kuwait, conducted their AGM in a spectacular ceremony at Al Divvan ball room on 18th February. The glamorous event saw the unveiling of South African superstar Herschelle Gibbs as the national coach for the senior men’s team and the appointment of Sajid Ashraf to the post of Director General by the President of Kuwait Cricket, Haider Farman.
The evening was chaired by President Haider Farman and had the valuable presence of all the board members including Vice President & in-charge of development Faisal Al Marzouq, General Secretary Emad Aljassam and Head of Council Mahmoud Bastaki as well as Sajid Ashraf along with fellow. Executive Council Directors Rishi Jayan, Robert D’Souza, Sudhakar Shetty, Harshith Vora, Naveen Dhananjayan and Mehboob Khan.
The AGM kicked off with the recitation of Holy Quran by Zahid Usman and was followed by the National Anthem of Kuwait. Farman opened the ceremony and spoke eloquently of the need to continue to progress and adapt to the ever changing nature of the global game and shared his vision of having more Kuwait nationals being roped into the game. He also paid special thanks to Touristic Enterprises Company & principal sponsors Ashraf Group, MGA and IDP Education, as well as the new exclusive sponsors of the KC premier league, KGL along with all the banks league sponsors. The president emphasized on the significance of such a grand AGM that brings the entire fraternity together under one roof and gives an opportunity to all the stakeholders (sponsors, teams, players, umpires & coaches etc) to give valuable feedback by asking questions that will help KC improve its overall administration, management and development. The president also thanked the various media partners and sports equipment sponsors along with the host of volunteers who play a special role in the functioning of cricket in Kuwait as without their voluntary support, such heights of success and accomplishment will be hard to achieve.
Sajid Ashraf who has been serving KC as Director Domestic & Marketing also spoke of the progress which has been made over the past year and the plans already in place to continue Kuwait cricket’s inevitable growth over the coming season. He also paid special tribute to all the sponsors over the past few years including telecommunication giants Huawei, Western Union, McDonalds and Mitsubishi before moving on to the current principal and major sponsors as well as key partners including Ashraf Group, MGA, IDP, KGL, Kuwait Swedish, Al Hafiz Printing, Gulf Consult, NBK, Boubyan Bank, AUB, KBC and Channels Media who all received mementos of appreciation from the board.
Director of Seniors and IT Rishi Jayan then presented updates on the growth of the domestic game over the last season and how over 4,000 players and 250 teams now participate in official tournaments. He also demonstrated the staggering progress of Kuwait Cricket’s state of the art website and laid out plans for the domestic game as well as the international teams preparation for the upcoming ICC World Twenty20 qualifiers in April 2018.
Rishi D Jayan called up the top performers of the previous season to receive special awards from the board led by the president. The awards for 2016-2017 seasons in categories of best batsman (Ali Zaheer), best bowler (Ahsan Naseer) and best all rounder (Ali Zaheer) were given by the board and captured by all the media channels present at the AGM.2016-2017 season was a dream run for young talent Ali Zaheer and would hope to close 2017-2018 with similar match winning performances.
Harshith Vora, the Director of Juniors Cricket then spoke about the previous domestic season and intense preparation conducted by KC which enabled both their Under 19 (Malaysia) and Under 16 teams (UAE) to progress to the finals of their respective international events, showing tremendous progress to exceed expectations. This has resulted in several juniors now playing senior Division A cricket and; more impressively, 2 young members (Abdul Haseeb and Abdul Sadiq) being selected for the senior men’s national probables squad. He also paid special tribute to the work done by coaches Tahir Khan, Ghayour Ahmed and Jude D’Silva who have worked tirelessly over the past 8 months to achieve these outstanding results.
This was followed by a presentation by Mehboob Khan who is the Director of Women’s Cricket and was well supported by Maryam Omar who has been the captain of Kuwait women’s team for many years. Both spoke of the increasing opportunities available to women cricketers and thanked the board for their support, which included sending the team to take part in a bilateral series against the Thailand national women’s teams in Bangkok. Both Mehboob & Maryam hope to see increased participation by women cricketers in domestic championships and are aiming to attract more talented girls and women to join their current set of players.
Director Technical Sudhakar Shetty & Director Match officials Naveen Dhanajayan then took centre stage to give away mementos of appreciation to the instructors of the recently and successfully concluded intermediate course felicitated by the Board. Kuwaiti National Tariq Beidas who is a Level 2 ACC certified match official led the contingent along with Imran Haji Mustafa, Syed Nadeem, Irfan Adil, & Naresh D’souza and spoke confidently of the current set of umpires and scorers under the Kuwait Cricket umbrella and how the course will help them improve their basic skills before KC goes on to organize level 1 and level 2 match official courses in the near future.
Finally, Kuwait Cricket President Haider Farman declared Vice President Faisal Al Marzouq as in charge of Development who then took centre stage to announce the official appointment of Sajid Ashraf as Director General of Kuwait Cricket and the appointment of super star Herschelle Gibbs as the national team coach of Kuwait.
The mood of AGM took new heights with a spectacular entry of Herschelle Gibbs that had the entire audience on its feet with loud rounds of applause accompanied with whistles and much excitement from the crowd.
Gibbs was greeted on stage by the board led by the President Haider Farman who gave Gibbs an elegant plaque as a gesture to officially appoint the superstar from South Africa as the national coach of Kuwait men’s team. Speaking to the newly appointed Director General Sajid Ashraf on stage, Gibbs discussed his excitement at the appointment whilst also stressing on the importance of fitness, teamwork and hard work in order to achieve short term and long term success. He was later greeted on stage by the complete delegation of Kuwait national probables including Kuwaiti National cricketers namely Fahad Bastaki, Mohammed Bastaki, Abdullah Bastaki, Abdul Rehman Kandari, Ebrahim Dhabyan, Tariq Beidas, Mohammad Al Otaibi, Abdul Rehman Dashti, Hussein Dashti, Mohammed Kandari, Abdul Razzak Kandari, Fawaz Tawfiqi & Faisal Tawfiqi; before being joined on stage by Kuwait juniors, seniors and women’s cricketers for an official photo shoot.
The evening concluded with all guests being treated to a sumptuous banquet as what was a fantastic and eventful AGM that came to a close. The staging and conduction of the event showed just how much progress has been made by Kuwait Cricket both on and off the field, a trend which looks set to continue over the coming years.