Iran develops coaches and umpires
Asian Cricket Council
Wed, Aug 18, 2010 12:04 PM
The Iran Cricket Federation (ICF) conducted a Level I Coaching Course in Chabahar in the south of the country where ACC Development Officer Iqbal Sikander was assisted by local Level II coaches Yousef Raeisi and Mohzdeh Bavenpour. At the same time, a Level 0 Umpiring Course in Tehran was run by the local Level II female umpire, Nargis Lafuti. The courses drew a total of 58 participants.
Iran currently has the most number of female coaches and umpires in the Middle East region. The number of players, coaches and umpires has been on the rise in the country and Iqbal is clearly impressed with its progress. He said: "Iran, although it only recently started playing cricket, has taken a huge interest in the game. Presently, there are about six women's teams playing regular tournaments organized by ICF."
National women's captain Nahid Hakimian said: "We are frustrated that we cannot play much sport in Iran but cricket dressing gear suits Iranian culture very well and we really want to improve and succeed."
"The ACC has been supporting the efforts of the ICF by providing it with proper cricket equipment, astro-turf pitches and also coaching support. The Iran U16s were finalists in the recent ACC U-16 Challenge Cup in Malaysia. All this indicates that things are looking good in Iran," added Iqbal.
The Iranian government has been supporting the game strongly over the past three years. Land has been allocated for cricket in Tehran, Zahedan, Chabahar, Konarak, Neksher, Isfahan, Kerman, Kermanshah and Iranshah. Most of the cricket played by men is in Chabahar, Konarak and Nekshar while women have taken up the game in Tehran, Zahedan, Kerman, Kermanshah, Isfahan and Mashhad.
Lafuti ran the Level 0 Umpiring Course with help from Habibi, who was also trained by the ACC. The course was the first opportunity for the participants to formally come into contact with the rules of cricket. Female umpires are needed for the growing number of women playing cricket in the nation.
"The Level I Coaching Course was meant for coaches who have already been playing cricket and are now keen to take up coaching along with playing the game. It was a very engaging course where the participants enjoyed learning the skills of coaching besides participating in game sense and other activities," said Iqbal.
Yousef Raeisi, who has played for the national team and coached the U19s, said: "We are getting more coaches and umpires and we still need better facilities and more opportunities to play. There is a lot of talent in Iran and a determination to do well. I hope that courses like this will help many cricketers in Iran."