*** ----> Bahrain Cricket Federation Carving a Niche for Community-Centric Cricket | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN

Bahrain Cricket Federation Carving a Niche for Community-Centric Cricket

By Captain Mahmood Al Mahmood 

It is considered one of the richest sports in the world, led by a near-spiritual zeal among much of the Indian subcontinent.

Cricket is played and followed by thousands of fans and wherever there is a diaspora from the subcontinent – India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and lately, the minnows, Afghanistan – you will find formal and informal games being played in clubs, schools and just on open ground.

The original British ‘Gentleman’s Game’ used to spin into a leisurely four or five-day Test Match and was followed by excited fans hanging onto the radio commentary of experts in the pre-TV days.

Once it became sufficiently rich and a new generation of players and fans took their places, the game changed and we have a faster-paced 20-over format and one-day matches that can fit into weekends.

This has speeded up turnover and just like the sun never set over the vast British Empire, today somewhere in the world, a game of cricket is being played for high stakes at any given point.

Against this adrenaline-driven scenario, the Bahrain Cricket Federation has boldly struck out to carve a niche for itself in a field dominated by giants with a history of big games, big wins and big money.

True to the character of Bahrain, the Kingdom has opted to cultivate a community-based cricketing fraternity with an emphasis on making the ‘foreign’ game accessible to Bahrainis as well as other expat groups.

The BCF has been powered by the vision of HH Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa, himself a world class sportsman and sports administrator and recently, won the world body, ICC’s Cricket 4 Good Social Impact Initiative of the Year Award.

This is not the first award – in 2022, the BCF won an award from ICC for its successfully promoting women’s cricket too.

The BCF’s work is an indication of a game from faraway shores can be harnessed for community friendship and well-being.


Captain Mahmood Al Mahmood is the Editor-in-Chief of The Daily Tribune and the President of the Arab-African Unity Organisation for Relief, Human Rights and Counterterrorism