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CRICKET AND SPORTS GROUND PHUKET

 
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Official venue for the Thai national youth cricket games June 2012
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THE Alan Cooke Ground (ACG) will begin construction on June 27 to establish Phuket’s first dedicated cricket facility.

Alan Cooke MBE has sponsored the Phuket cricket leagues through his company Island Furniture, and financing this venture will certainly drive the success of his beloved sport.

“The ACG will in a small way do for cricket what the reduction in boat tax did for marine tourism,” said Mr Cooke.

Mr Cooke has lived in Phuket since 1986 and served as the island’s British Honorary Consul from 2001 to 2008.

Cricket is undeniably the focus of future events, but plans to host other sports such as rugby and field hockey are also being proposed. Within the 10-rai plot the ACG will include a 250 square-meter, two-storey, pavilion-style clubhouse and a synthetic grass wicket, all of which is hoped to be in place for the 2011/2012 Phuket cricket season beginning this November.

The ACG will host its first major event in March 2012 when the Thai Youth Games cricket tourna- ment will help showcase Phuket’s new cricket center.

The ground and clubhouse will be maintained by the Phuket Cricket Group (PCG), which is the official umbrella organization for cricket on the island.

Chairman of PCG, Pat Cotter is extremely proud to be involved with cricket at this juncture.

“The ACG will raise cricket in Phuket to another level. We will very soon have a facility that can accommodate international matches and hope to stage Junior World Cup qualifiers. The Asian Cricket Council are very open to this proposal for the future.

“More players and teams will be attracted to cricket in Phuket now that we have our own pitch and do not have to rely on Municipal grounds.

“The ACG will eventually host festivals and tournaments which will boost the profile of the island as a sports tourism destination and therefore benefit its economy,” Pat said.

“This is Alan’s [Cooke] dream. Cricket is his passion and this his legacy for Phuket,” Pat added.

With the PCG Annual General Meeting (AGM) due to be held this week, activities and plans for the new ACG will be high on the agenda.

The PCG will hold its 2011/2012 AGM at The Karon Sea Sands Resort on June 7, starting at 7:30pm. Committee members, players and others interested in the development of cricket in Phuket will meet to review activities over the past 12 months and discuss plans for the upcoming season.The evening’s agenda will include elections for key manage- ment committee positions, youth development, coaching, umpiring and fundraising objectives. Anyone interested in cricket on the island is welcome to attend. Refreshments will be available. For information, contact PCG Honorary Secretary Anthony VanBlerk at avanblerk79@gmail.com.

© ACG Phuket Cricket and Sports Club • Supported by The Courtyard, Island Furniture and Alan Cooke MBE