History of cricket
Cricket started in Doha in 1977 with eight clubs participating in the league. In 1980, 12 major teams formed the Qatar Cricket Association (QCA) with the prime objective of improving the level of cricket by bringing it to a national level. The number of grounds quickly rose with, initially, seven grounds built near Doha Golf Course later extended to 16.
International cricket and developing the game
The Asian Cricket Council (ACC), along with ICC, played a major role in the development of cricket in Qatar in providing training and seminars for coaches, umpires, curators and assistance forth infrastructure. Recent figures showed there is one Level 3 coach, five at Level 2 and 21 at Level 1. There are also 38 Level 1 umpires and eight at Level 2 for the running of local leagues, which has increased to 48registered clubs.
In 2011, cricket was introduced into two schools with Kanga cricket equipment, and of the 14 students who received coaching, four went to Thailand to take part in an Under-16 tournament. Apart from the national boys, coaching was also given to sports teachers in six Arabic schools.
Cricket has also become popular among females. At an ACC Under-19tournament, Qatar finished fifth of 12 Asian teams and in schools there is now girls cricket in 10 establishments, set to increase to 15 by the end of2012. Junior camps are held for boys twice a year with 20 schools invited.
At national level, teams in all age groups have participated in all tournaments organised by ACC and ICC.
A cricket stadium of international standard was set to be completed by July 2012 and it is the QCA's intention to approach ACC and ICC to arrange tournaments and international matches in Qatar to popularise the game among local nationals, with the support of TV coverage.
The QCA's long-term objective is to win an ACC Cup, gain a place in the Under-19 World Cup and then produce national team players good enough to reach a forthcoming World Cup. It certainly has the facilities.