Doha, 18 September 2023 - The Chairperson of the International Cricket Council (ICC) Greg Barclay praised the distinguished organization of the first Gulf Cricket Championship, currently held in Qatar at the West End Park International Cricket Stadium, running until September 23rd.
Six GCC national teams are participating in the championship.
Speaking to Qatar News Agency (QNA), the ICC Chairperson said: "I've been very impressed with everything that I've seen so far." He added that the entire Gulf region is a real growth area for this enjoyable sport, noting that the State of Qatar has made great strides to develop and spread this sport, training a large base of practitioners.
The ICC Chairperson explained that holding the 1st edition of the T20I Gulf Cricket Championship and the participation of six teams will help grow and spread this sport in the region over the years, thanking the Qatar Cricket Association and all those involved in holding this tournament, which is considered a great opportunity for cricketers and fans in the region.
Barclay expressed his great admiration for Qatar's success in organizing many important international cricket tournaments during the recent period, such as the Legends Masters tournament, considering that the Qatar Cricket Association plays an important role in promoting the sport, having great enthusiasm and vision, evident in the fact that it managed to successfully organize several important events.
The ICC Chairperson appreciated the Qatar Cricket Association's role in the Gulf Cricket Championship seeing the light, as it is the Association that proposed the idea of holding this tournament. He added that it is ICC's role to provide different world regions assistance and provide facilities towards promoting and supporting the game, commending the joint Gulf effort in supporting the game.
Regarding organizing the tournament annually, alternating between different Gulf countries, Barclay said that this matter is up to the organizers in the GCC, especially since regional organizers intend to organize the tournament every two years, adding that they may be looking into organizing a special tournament for women in the coming years.
The ICC Chairperson said that holding the championship every two years is a wonderful thing, expecting it to yield positive results in terms of spreading and developing the game in the region over time.
Barclay pointed out that the ICC has plans in place to spread cricket in areas of the world where it is still not very popular, which is exactly the reason behind supporting the Gulf Cricket Championship, providing organizers with all needed assistance and expertise, especially from a technical standpoint.
He continued that ICC is looking forward to organizing the Men's World Cup next year in the United States and the Caribbean, pointing out that starting the new season with a new region joining such as the United States is wonderful, stressing the Council's keenness on fortifying the game in various new regions.
At the conclusion of his statement, New Zealander Greg Barclay said that the ICC is looking forward to extending its events and competitions into a new region, in this case, the Gulf region, which is equipped with high-quality stadiums, pointing out that this matter will be covered in next season's tournament calendar discussions.