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HRH ABDULAZIZ IBN NASSER GRACES RCL AWARDING & ANNOUNCES FORMATION OF SAUDI ARABIAN CRICKET ASSOCIATION

By Syed Parwaiz Imam

Prince Abdulaziz Ibn Nasser Ibn Abdulaziz Al Saud, the patron-in-chief, graced the colorful Riyadh Cricket League (RCL) awarding night for the 1997-98 and 1998-99 seasons at the Riyadh Palace hotel. To the delight of the honored guests and the fans, he announced the formation of Saudi Arabian Cricket Association (SACA) with Sheikh Saleh Hussam Al Zuhair as its president.  The RCL patron-in-chief also made an official announcement to offer a piece of land for developing into a cricket ground. This will encourage other enthusiasts of the game to actively participate in the overall promotion, said Abdul Qadeer Mirza, RCL chairman. The new president of SACA in his return gesture thanked the patron-in-chief for the faith shown in him. He admitted that his knowledge of this game is not great but he has been a great fan and his interest started when his son who studies in England started playing cricket there.
"As the opportunity has been assigned to me, I will do my best to promote it at the grass root level in the Kingdom." He stated that structure would be created to enable young Saudi cricketers to develop their natural skills. As to the purpose of SACA, he pointed out that the first target would be to send a Saudi side to the Asia Cup, which will be held in Karachi, Pakistan next month. I would take up the case with the relevant department to obtain the necessary permission, he stated. Then, we would work to integrate the various cricket leagues into a National Cricket League thus consolidating the cricket set up in the Kingdom. Mirza, the chairman, Dilawar Mirza and Javed Munawar, the RCL management committee members, all expressed thanks to the patron-in-chief, embassy officials, guests, players, sponsors and the fans who were present and said that this large gathering is a good sign for the game of cricket here. They also wished the new SACA president the best of luck in his endeavors. The embassies that were represented at this function included Khalid Mehmood – ambassador Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Brigadier Tariq Salim Malik – Pakistan embassy military attaché, Noufal Jabir – Sri Lankan ambassador, Simon McDonnel – United Kingdom deputy head of mission and Ashraf Suleiman of South Africa. Amongst the sponsors and the guests were Inamullah Khan – manager Fuchs Petroleum, Nauman Baqai – marketing manager Al Safi Dairy products, Musarrat Hussein – manager Minhal Travel Service, Nusrat Kazi – principal Pakistan International school, Dr. Ali Al Sheikh – principal Bangladesh school, Muhammed Nisar – former RCL chairman, Syed Khalique-uzzaman – former RCL vice chairman, Sadequl Islam – president Jeddah National cricket league and Khalid Sayed. All the embassy officials, sponsors and invited guests were presented with a shield as a goodwill gesture for the benefit of the game. The colorful awarding night gave away various prizes to the winning teams and to the best individual performances for the tournaments held during the seasons in 1997-98 and 1998-99. They are:

1997-98 season recipients:
Al Safi Cup: champion – Saudia Milk, runner up – Carrier, man of the match final – Arif Nawaz, player of the tournament – Nadeem Baber.

Saudi British Bank Trophy:
Champion – Friends, runner up – Saudia Milk, man of the match final and man of the series – Mirza Saifur Rehman Baig.

Saudi American Bank Cup:
Champion – Saudia Milk, runner up – Friends, man of the match final – Mustafa Butt, man of the series – Arif Mehmood.

RCL Cup:
Champion – Saudia Milk, runner up – Pakistan Embassy, man of the match final – Rashid Rana, man of the series – Rana Munir.

Al Bank Al Saudi Al Fransi Trophy:
Champion – KLM, runner up – Al Nasr, man of the match final – Dilawar Mirza, man of the series – Khalid Mehmood.

Saudi Hollandi Bank Trophy:
Champion – Riyadh Cables, runner up – Pak Shaheen, man of the match final – Muhammed Ashfaq, man of the series – Muhammed Ashfaq.

1998-99 season recipients

Fuchs Petroleum Cup:
Champion – Lahory Kabbay restaurant, runner up – Al Nasr, man of the match final – Khalid Qureshi, man of the series – Moazzam.

Saudi American Bank Cup:
Champion – Lucent Technology, runner up – Friends, man of the match final – Muhammed Owais, man of the series – Owais Ahmed.

RCL Super Cup:
Champion – Friends, runner up – Lucent Technology, man of the match final – Mirza Saifur Rehman Baig, man of the series – Afzal Pasha.

RCL Challenge Cup:
Champion – PIA, runner up – Al Nasr, man of the match final and man of the series – Dilawar Mirza.

Al Bank Al Saudi Al Fransi Cup:
Champion – Lucent Technology, runner up – Friends, man of the match final – Muhammed Owais, man of the series – Afzal Pasha.

Saudi Hollandi Bank Cup:
Champion – Mehran Spices, runner up – Friends, man of the match final – Sajjad Shah, man of the series – Shah Jahan