Connect with us

Phuket

Phuket Sports: Cricket ground is bowled over by plaudits

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published 

 on 

PHUKET: Sport enjoys more than its fair share of ceremony from presentations to event openings and their eventual finales.

Every one of these occasions first heralds, then celebrates the victorious and also commiserates with those that will have to try again, in order to achieve that title, trophy or winning time.


Leopard attack bowler.
One sporting occasion that inspires hope and limitless possibilities, undemanding of competitive exertion, is the cutting of a ribbon, announcing a new ground is ready for play.

As the tape falls to the ground and applause resonates among the gathered dignitaries and spectators, it’s easy to imagine your child striding onto that ground with teammates, as similar applause sounds encouragement for their sporting dreams.

With the simple cutting of a ribbon last Sunday, a new sports ground opened on Phuket, and with that ceremonial gesture came a world of possibilities for local youngsters, a “field of dreams”, to borrow a popular film title.

Since the announcement last year that Alan Cooke MBE, former British Honorary Consul to Phuket, had donated a plot of land to be used as a cricket facility, the tireless efforts of a dedicated few have seen a piece of barren wasteland transformed so dramatically that even Constable would be forgiven for thinking it was an English landscape, if it weren’t for the surrounding banana plants and coconut trees.


Stump camera. Photo: D Noble
The Alan Cooke Ground, or as its benefactor is adamant to impress, the ACG, is not as new as the official opening date suggests. To many within the Phuket Cricket Group (PCG), the grounds are very familiar, having now hosted nine Island Furniture League matches, four touring teams and several friendly games.

Blood and beer have been spilled as well as many a catch dropped, while many other droppings have been collected. Sixes and fours are accumulating as are half-centuries, but none has reached a ton. International players and teams from abroad have graced the wicket, watched by the games’ enthusiasts from the ever-developing clubhouse and its magnificent upper viewing area, which also commands a beautiful vista across the lakes of Baan Liphon in Thalang.


Lomas launch. Photo: D Noble
Preparations for the opening were complex, but managed beautifully by Siriporn, Alan’s partner. Government officials and VIPs from Asian cricket attended and four teams were organized to compete over Saturday and Sunday in exhibition cricket matches as entertainment for the crowds. Phuket’s youth development rugby and cricket teams, the Lomas and the Leopards respectively, gave outstanding displays of tenacity, mobility, coordination and skill as the adults waited for the guests of honor.

Speeches written and with an attractive translator in waiting, practicing pronunciation of unusual names, the proceedings began once the dignitaries had been welcomed then seated.

BELLA: The event’s MC and translator.


First to the Laguna lectern was the collected Mr Cooke. Immediately he struck to the heart of the ground’s importance, which he said will aid development of Thai youth cricket in association with the Cricket Authority of Thailand (CAT) and the PCG.

“I am confident that our facility [ACG] will encourage more local youngsters to participate in sports through which they can establish lifelong friendships with people from around the world who share the same passion for their sport,” said Mr Cooke.

He further acknowledged the contributions of David Roberts and Keith Brooks followed by the announcement that Property Care Services have agreed to provide floodlights for the ACG which will allow for later training hours.


Alan Cooke explains how to bowl a googly to Dr Seksan Narkwong.
After offering thanks to all in attendance, Mr Cooke suggested there was much more work ahead, but that the goal was achievable.

“I believe that with such support from our friends that we may continue to grow from strength to strength, putting Phuket firmly on the map as an international sporting destination,” he concluded.

Chairman of the PCG, Pat Cotter, next remarked on Alan and Siriporn’s contribution to Phuket rugby and cricket over the years and that these sports can now grow further with the establishment of the ACG.

“With this great facility generously provided by Alan and Siriporn, and the continued support of our local Thai coaching staff and the CAT, we are confident more people within the Phuket community will be able to develop their skills, which in turn will open up a world of opportunities to them,” said Mr Cotter.

Mr Mohideen Kader, Chief Executive of the CAT, presented highlights of his organization’s achievements from membership into the International Cricket Council in 2005 to Thailand’s women’s team achieving third place at the Asian Cricket Council (ACC)’s Women’s T20 championship in 2011 and how the ACG will help further the sport’s development.

“We are sure that with great facilities such as this, cricket in Thailand will continue to achieve great things and we will continue to support the development of cricket throughout Thailand.

“Congratulations to Alan and everyone involved in cricket here in Phuket for their wonderful efforts in promoting and developing the game here,” said Mr Kader.


CEO of the ACC Syed Ashfraful Huq
CEO of the ACC, Syed Ashfraful Huq, stated that a major objective of the Asian cricket’s governing body is to see the continued development of the sport throughout the region. With 22 nations as part of the ACC, the popularity of new forms of cricket and the intense media coverage, Syed expects increased participation in the game throughout Asia, including Thailand.

“By establishing such great facilities such as the one Alan and his team have put together here, we are confident that our great sport of cricket will become one of the most popular here in Asia by helping us to develop at the grassroots level,” Syed said.

“This is the foundation and the platform for growing and developing our game. Congratulations to Alan for his vision and remarkable achievement in bringing to Phuket its first custom-built cricket ground. Finally a big thank you to all here in Phuket who are making our [ACC] dream become a reality,” he added.

Phuket Vice Governor Dr Sommai Prijasilpa, detailed Phuket’s growing popularity as a sports destination, with particular reference to the Laguna Phuket Triathlon and marathon, and having world-class facilities to host such prestigio

— Neil Quail

 

Want more from the Thaiger family?

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📝️ Join the conversation on Thaiger Talk - discuss news & life in our Thailand forums
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates

image

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.



Read more headlines, reports & breaking news in Phuket. Or catch up on your Thailand news.

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Myanmar10 hours ago

Burmese military media outlets say ethnic army killed 25 workers

Thailand12 hours ago

PM Prayut Chan-o-cha says drug suppression should to be a national priority

Thailand13 hours ago

Purchases of fancy street lamps being investigated for possible corruption

Phuket Sandbox July 1st

days
hours
minutes
seconds

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in July - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages in June!

Sponsored by image

Thailand13 hours ago

Thailand News Today | BKK parks re-open… nearly, tropical storm, airport security upgrade | June 14

Thailand14 hours ago

Missing fisherman’s body found in sea off Nakhon Si Thammarat

Coronavirus (Covid-19)14 hours ago

CCSA: We’re out of vaccines

Coronavirus (Covid-19)14 hours ago

Ayutthaya hospital to test all staff for Covid after 18 test positive

Thailand15 hours ago

13 teenagers arrested in Chon Buri for partying, gathering

Crime15 hours ago

Crime Suppression Division seizes dozens of illegal firearms in a series of raids

Crime15 hours ago

Marijuana valued at 10 million baht seized in Nakhon Phanom, 2 arrested

Coronavirus (Covid-19)16 hours ago

Monday Covid Update: 3,355 new cases, provincial totals

Coronavirus (Covid-19)16 hours ago

Almost 100% of teachers and staff vaccinated in Bangkok

Thailand17 hours ago

Almost 8 million register for stimulus scheme, app briefly goes down

Best of18 hours ago

Top 5 best temples in Bangkok

Thailand18 hours ago

Good Morning Thailand | What’s happening in Pattaya, Phuket sandbox, reopening for tourism

Thailand3 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism3 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket3 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism4 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8

Trending