PHUKET: The Alan Cooke Ground (ACG) officially opens its gates this weekend with two exhibition matches against the Singapore Cricket Club who are traveling to Phuket specifically for this inaugural event.
A selection of players from the Phuket Cricket Groups’ Island Furniture Leagues will join forces as the Phuket ‘All Stars’ to face Singapore CC over two games on Saturday and Sunday.
Speaking to the Phuket Gazette today, Mr Alan Cooke MBE, chairman of the ACG and who donated the land for the new cricket facility expressed his enthusiasm for the arrival and participation of Singapore CC.
“We are delighted to welcome the Singapore Cricket Club to the ACG, and it is greatly appreciated that the oldest cricket club in the region should, as a gesture of support, play on this the newest ground in the region,” said Mr Cooke.
Singapore CC was established in 1852 and currently has over 5,600 members. The Padang has hosted numerous test teams including Australia, India and Pakistan.
Captain of the ‘All Stars’ and chief financial officer for Laguna, Stuart Reading, is hoping his players’ investment in pre-season training will pay dividends in the form of a first home victory on the ACG.
“All the players are looking forward to this inugural match. It’s a great honor to be involved. What Alan Cooke has done for cricket and sport in Phuket is just terrific,” Stuart said.
“The ACG will put Phuket cricket on the map and it will help encourage more touring teams to choose Phuket as a destination sports venue. Cricket standards will go up a notch by virtue of the facility alone,” Stuart added.
On Saturday, the ‘All Stars’ play Singapore in a 35 over game which is scheduled to start at 9am.
On Sunday, the teams will play a 20 over match which will begin at 12pm. Following this undoubted exciting encounter, a presentation to celebrate the ACG’s launch will conclude the weekend’s events.
Both games will be played at the ACG in the lakes area of Baan Lipon, in Thalang district.
All are welcome to attend. Food and beverages will be available at the ground.
— Neil Quail
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