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International Under 19's 2003

Blast from the Past

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United Arab Emirates qualify for next year's Indoor Cricket World Cup in Sri Lanka.

In the recently completed World Indoor Cricket Federation Challenger Cup, the United Arab Emirates secured a place in next year's Indoor Cricket World Cup by defeating India in the final. We here have long been aware of the sport's attempts to establish itself in the UAE, and we trust this development will be the fillip it needs.

The WICF Challenger Cup is a recent and welcome initiative of the WICF. The idea was first officially raised at the WICF Delegate meeting in Wellington, New Zealand during last year's World Cup. It was seen as a vehicle to introduce and encourage the development of our sport in emerging countries, plus provide a conduit through which those countries (one at a time) could participate in the World Cup without necessarily having to wait for the formal WICF membership requirements to be met.

The Ceylon Indoor Cricket Association volunteered to organise and host this the inaugural WICF Challenger Cup, and India and the United Arab Emirates were invited to play. Both India and the UAE sent two teams, and with hosts Sri Lanka playing in the tournament (but not allowed to play in the finals), a week of highly competitive indoor cricket ensued.

The Grand Final saw the UAE chasing India's 42, and with just two balls remaining, UAE had reached 41. The penultimate ball was hit for 2, and the last successfully negotiated, and UAE had booked its place in next year's World Cup. But enough from us. . . for comprehensive coverage of the tournament, you really should go to the Ceylon Indoor Cricket Association's excellent website and read all about it from there.

Indoor Cricket World salutes the WICF and the Ceylon Indoor Cricket Association for this development and its success, and also those in India and the UAE responsible for enabling their country's participation.

Next year's Indoor Cricket World Cup promises more and more as time goes by, and our sport is slowly beginning to spread to nations that, for the sport's long-term future, have to become involved. Now. . . . .if only we could also get the English scene back on track . . . . .

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