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|Postal Address:||BP 9115, Bamako - Korofina, Mali|
|Main switchboard:||+233 221 3867 / 637 8113|
|General enquiry email:||email@example.com|
Malians began playing organised cricket in Mali in 2002 at a school (Kalanso) in Djelibougou, a part of Bamako. The following year, 2003, saw the founding of the 'Association Malienne pour le Cricket (AMaCrik)' in Bamako by a Malian English teacher, Mr Kawory Berthé, his colleagues and a British family. The first-ever cricket tournament in Mali was held in 2003 between different classes at Kalanso school. The following year, 2004, cricket spread to other schools in the area.
In 2005, the 'Association Malienne pour le Cricket (AMaCrik)' evolved into the 'Federation Malienne de Cricket (FeMaCrik) and, following the visit of Mr Hoosain Ayob, the Regional Development Manager for ICC-Africa, Mali was admitted into the ICC family as an Affiliate Member.
Since its beginnings in Bamako in 2002, cricket has spread to other parts of Mali. Cricket leagues have been set up in Segou (2006), Sikasso (2007) and Timbuktu (2008).
Mali first played international cricket in 2007, against The Gambia, participating in the inaugural North & West Africa Cricket Championship (which re-grouped The Gambia, Ghana, Mali, Morocco, Nigeria and Sierra Leone) and at an U17 level in Nigeria in 2008 (against The Gambia, Ghana, Nigeria and Sierra Leone and Cameroon.)
It is yet to enter a senior team in major ICC competition but this process will have been helped by the Mali Cricket Federation finally acquiring an official cricket ground in 2010. Situated in an area called Banakoro, near to Bamako, the ground is big enough to have two cricket fields with necessary facilities. The President of FemaCrik advised that the next step will be to build at the ground.
The domestic cricket season runs from October to July each year, and follows the rhythm of schools activities.
Senior cricket consists of the 'Championnat National Malien de Cricket' now in it's second edition in 2009 : with local/regional qualifying competitions in March-May and finals in July. The first Malian National championship was held in Sikasso in 2008 ; Segou is expected to host the 2009 finals.
There is an annual schools competition held in Bamako which was renamed the Urbain Sangare tournament in 2008. The competition has recently completed its sixth edition and is usually held in the March-April school holiday. There are usually three sections for U13 mixed teams, U16 boys, U16 girls teams. Equivalent competitions are promoted/developed by the local/regional leagues in Segou and Sikasso.
With help from the ICC development programme there has been a steady expansion and development of the sport. FeMaCrik is highly committed to education and development and organises courses for would-be trainers, umpires and scorers. 2009 will see the first cricket administrator's course.
FemaCrik seeks to partly address its social responsibility through its efforts to remove or avoid barriers to participation underprivileged areas. It has been particularly encouraging to see cricket provide several young Malians with new possibilities for meeting economic needs.
Although cricket remains a minority sport within the primarily football culture of the country, Mali is proud to represent French-speaking West Africa in an English-speaking dominated context and is gradually earning and recognition from its more experienced neighbours in the region.
Young women and girls participate fully in the weekly training and playing activities in Bamako and several have quickly become competent scorers appreciated by men and women alike. There is young women's section in the annual schools' tournament in Bamako where in 2009 the leading player won the 'Player of the Tournament Award' !
Mali looks forward to being able to field a women's national team, in the next few years.