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BCCI to send Saba Karim, Abhay Sharma to help Maldives cricket

A couple of months ago India assured to construct a cricket stadium in Maldives.

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MS Dhoni
MS Dhoni presents an autographed jersey to the President of Maldives. (Photo Source: Twitter)

In a bid to spread the base of cricket further in South Asia, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is set to send its top official Saba Karim and India A fielding coach Abhay Sharma to the Maldives later in May. The duo will help the board in taking stock of the game in the tiny island-nation, an associate member which started playing international cricket since 1996.

The Indian cricket board’s plan to send a team to the Maldives gained steam after the president of the archipelagic state Ibrahim Mohamed Solih attended an Indian Premier League (IPL) match in Bengaluru in April. Solih was elected as the president of the Maldives last year and he is known to be India friendly unlike his predecessor Abdulla Yameen.

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India have helped Nepal and Afghanistan; now they aid Maldives

India has helped other countries in the region to improve cricket, including Afghanistan and Nepal. The decision to send Karim, a former India wicket-keeper and currently the general manager (cricket operations) along with Sharma, is not surprising. Sharma, 50, is a former first-class cricketer who was also a wicketkeeper-batsman between the late 1980s and 2003.

Sharma, who is India’s fielding coach, though said he is yet to receive full details of the trip, the Indian Express cited reports as saying.

Maldives played their first T20 game in January this year though they are yet to win any match out of the four they have played. The game in the country is governed by the Cricket Board of Maldives. The country had become a member of the Asian Cricket Council in 1998 and is an affiliate of the International Cricket Council.

“The government asked us to help Maldives cricket and we are happy to do that. The officials will go there and see how best we can contribute to the game’s growth in that country,” the Express cited reports quoting a BCCI official as saying.
The Maldivian president was presented with jerseys by India’s cricketing icons Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni while IPL COO Hemang Amin besides Karim gave the Maldivian contingent a presentation.

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