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Shafin
June 19, 2007, 01:01 PM
Women's cricket set to enter new era in Asia

Sami-ul-Hasan

June 19, 2007

Women's cricket in Asia is set to enter a new era over the coming month.

Mid-July will see the inaugural Asian Cricket Council (ACC) Women's Tournament in Johor Baru, Malaysia where eight teams from the region will go head-to-head.

And ahead of that, and as part of the build-up to that event, Hong Kong's women will host China in their first-ever cricket match, to be played in Shenzhen on 24 June.

The increased profile and role for women's cricket in the region is all part of the ACC's five-year strategic development plan and has seen it release special funds to the non-Test playing teams for preparatory purposes.

The idea behind the drive is to synchronise women's cricket in the region among developing ICC Members and, at the same time, provide the players with match action which, it is hoped, will speed up their understanding of the game and their skill levels.

Explaining the plan for women's cricket in Asia, ACC Development Manager Sultan Rana said: "The tournament in Malaysia is important and we are optimistic it will play a huge development role in the region.

"The ACC has released special funds to the non-Test playing teams so they could start their preparations and activities.

"We sent two coaches to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Oman in the recent past while another will shortly visit Iran.

"These activities and this upcoming tournament should provide girls in the Asia region with a real feel for the game," he added.

The historic match-up between China and Hong Kong, set for Shenzhen University Stadium, will act as the ideal appetizer ahead of the main event and Hong Kong manager Mark Burns said the game was eagerly anticipated.

"The Hong Kong squad has been training hard over the last few months in preparation for the ACC Tournament and everyone is excited at the chance to play against China in Shenzhen. It will be really special," he said.

China only joined the ICC and ACC in 2004 but has already made significant strides and has now employed Rashid Khan, the former Pakistan fast bowler who played in the 1983 ICC Cricket World Cup, as it's men's and women's team coach.

Explaining the significance of the upcoming action, Chairperson of the ACC Women's Committee. Shubhangi Kulkarni said: "We have already seen enthusiasm and interest among women cricketers in the region and now this tournament will allow them to show their potential."

Ms Kulkarni also explained the special challenges that have faced the ACC in developing women's cricket as she added: "It has been a journey for us as we first had to groom female coaches and support staff.

"That was necessary because in our part of the world men coaching women is an issue and to avoid that we had first to invest in women coaching and support staff."

An example of that is the use of two former India players, Smitha Harikrishna and Pramila Korikar, who are helping to establish cricket among women in the UAE, a country that launched its team in May of this year.

The UAE will face Bangladesh, Singapore and China in Malaysia, all of them forming Group B in the tournament, with group A made up of Hong Kong, Malaysia, Thailand and Nepal.

The 30-overs per side matches will be played at two different grounds about 275 kms south of the capital, Kuala Lumpur.

Ms Kulkarni expected Bangladesh, which organised its first domestic competition for women earlier this year, to be favourites for the title.

"Although they only joined the fold recently, Bangladesh are a Test-playing nation and the women have been playing alongside the men," she said.

"The biggest advantage of this series will be that the newest teams will be able to assess their strengths and weaknesses and from there they can improve their set-ups and chalk out future plans," she added.

Women's cricket came under the auspices of the ICC and ACC in 2005 when the ICC merged with the International Women's Cricket Council (IWCC). Before merger, the IWCC had 15 members and since integration the women's game has grown fast and there were now 42 members with formal girls' and/or women's teams playing in structured cricket competitions.

A further 23 do not have competition teams yet but do have girls in junior development initiatives. That makes 65 of ICC's 97 members with some women's cricket and it is growing all the time.

Further details of the ACC Women's Tournament can be found at www.asiancricket.org

Tournament schedule:

11 July -
Hong Kong v Malaysia, Johor Cricket Academy;
Bangladesh v UAE, Institute Perguruan Temenggong Ibrahim

12 July -
Thailand v Nepal, Johor Cricket Academy;
Singapore v China, Institute Perguruan Temenggong Ibrahim

13 July -
Hong Kong v Thailand, Johor Cricket Academy;
Bangladesh v Singapore, Institute Perguruan Temenggong Ibrahim

14 July -
Malaysia v Nepal, Johor Cricket Academy;
UAE v China, Institute Perguruan Temenggong Ibrahim

15 July -
Hong Kong v Nepal, Johor Cricket Academy;
Bangladesh v China, Institute Perguruan Temenggong Ibrahim

16 July -
Malaysia v Thailand, Johor Cricket Academy;
UAE v Singapore, Institute Perguruan Temenggong Ibrahim

17 July - Semi-finals
(A1 v B2, Johor Cricket Academy);
(B1 v A2, Institute Perguruan Temenggong Ibrahim)

18 July - Final

Sami-ul-Hasan is ICC Communications Officer

source (http://www.icc-cricket.com/icc-women/content/story/298577.html)

AsifTheManRahman
June 19, 2007, 03:03 PM
Us? Favourites for the title? Well, I guess it makes sense since the big three aren't playing.

Shafin
June 20, 2007, 11:41 AM
ACC Tournament

Bangladesh announce women's squad

Cricinfo staff

June 20, 2007

Bangladesh have announced their 14-player squad for the Asian Cricket Council women's tournament in Malaysia next month.

Tazkia Akter leads the side for the tournament which comprises eight teams, divided into two groups. A semi-final stage and final follow. Bangladesh, the favourites, have been grouped with UAE, Singapore and China.

Their first match is against UAE on July 11.

Squad Tazkia Akter, (capt), Salma Kahatun, Reshma Akter Aduri, Panna Ghosh, Irin Sultana (wk), Shuktara, Ayesha Akhter, Shathira Jaker Jessy, Chamely Khatun, Shamima Akhter Pinkey, Tithi Rani Sarker, Papiya Haque Babu, Champa Chakma, Mina Khatun (reserve wk)

Reserves Monjila Khatun, Khadija Akhtar China, Fatima Akhtar, Saria Tanjin Sumona

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