BCCI to send personnel to help Maldives cricket

Saba Karim and Abhay Sharma will visit the island nation later this month to take stock of cricket there.

Saba Karim (in picture) and Hemang Amin had given a presentation to a visiting Maldives contingent during the IPL.   -  Vivek Bendre

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) will send its top official Saba Karim and India ‘A’ fielding coach Abhay Sharma on a short visit to Maldives later this month to take stock of the sport in the island nation.

The Board’s plan to send a team to the South Asian country was set in motion after Maldives president Ibrahim Mohamed Solih attended an Indian Premier League (IPL) contest in Bengaluru last month.

It is not a surprise that the Indian government played a major role in arranging the visit by Karim, the BCCI general manager (cricket operations) and Sharma. It is not new for the BCCI to help emerging cricketing nations.

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India has supported cricket in Afghanistan and Nepal in the past. Afghanistan even has a ‘home’ ground in Dehradun, India.

“The government asked us to help Maldives cricket and we are happy to do that. The officials will go there and see how best we can contribute to the game’s growth in that country,” a BCCI official told PTI on Friday.

On the sidelines of an IPL game in Bengaluru when Solih was presented jerseys by Virat Kohli and M. S. Dhoni, Hemang Amin — the IPL COO — and Karim had given a presentation to the entire Maldives contingent. Both Karim and Sharma are expected to fly to Male later this week.

When contacted, Sharma, who is also India’s wicketkeeping coach, said he is yet to get the full details of the trip.

Cricket in Maldives is governed by the Cricket Board of Maldives, which became a member of the Asian Cricket Council in 1998 and is an affiliate of the International Cricket Council in 1998.