Almaeena and RCA officials discussed the opportunity in sponsoring the tournament and other details related to the event. “The objective is to build not only the strong ties between Arab News and RCA but also to promote the game of cricket,” said Almaeena after the meeting. He said that Arab News would work as a partner with RCA in the tournament, which will be a great occasion to see our young school boys in action.
The occasion will also help  inculcate skills of cricket among them, said Almaeena, who acknowledged that the cricket associations in Jeddah, Riyadh and Damman had been instrumental in promoting the game in Saudi Arabia. “Today, cricket is quite common in Saudi Arabia, where Saudis and non-Saudi players have evinced keen interest in the game at all levels,” said Abdul Qadeer Mirza, RCA president. Mirza said that cricket was increasingly becoming popular in the Gulf region and being played with greater enthusiasm in other countries, especially those that are the members of the International Cricket Council (ICC). Referring to the popularity of cricket and RCA’s association with Arab News, he said that cricket was arguably the world’s second most popular sport after soccer. Cricket, which has had a broad impact on popular culture, both in the Commonwealth of Nations and elsewhere, will help students of the Kingdom’s schools to boost their cultural links, said Mirza. He pointed out that cricket has had even an influence on the lexicon of some of nations, where it is hugely popular like the UK, Australia, Bangladesh, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka and West Indies.
Jawaid Munawar, RCA senior vice president, thanked Arab News for extending regular support to RCA and to the game of cricket in the Kingdom. Munawar said that Arab News had always been “in the forefront” in promoting cricket among youngsters. The last tournament in 2009, that was sponsored by Arab News led by Almaeena, is a memorable event in the history of RCA, he added. He recalled that Almaeena was personally present for the prize distribution, on the RCA grounds in Riyadh.
In the meeting, Aasif Sheikh, RCA general secretary, made a presentation on RCA’s activities. He also showed a large number of media clippings, mainly of Arab News, which are testimony to the dedication of RCA for the game. The meeting was anchored by RCA executive member Razaur Rahman, who expressed thanks for the support extended by Almaeena, at every juncture. Rahman gave a demonstration of RCA’s website and explained various aspects of the game and RCA activities to Almaeena.
Rahman pointed out that about 12 schools had already confirmed  participation in the tournament  in Riyadh. These schools are: Pakistan International School Nasseriyah, Pakistan International School (English section), Sri Lankan International School, Bangladesh International School English Section, Manarat Arriyadh School, Indian International School, Delhi Public School, Jawahir International School, Al Mansoor School, Al Momin School, Middle East International School, American School, Indian Public School and British School. Rahman said that RCA will hold a meeting with the schools soon to finalize the dates for the tournament. The tournament format will be T-20, where there will be two groups for under-17 and under-19. Teams will play round robin and two teams will qualify from each group for the semifinals.
Matches will be played Thursdays under the supervision of RCA umpires in Sulay District of Riyadh. RCA will be shortly forming a committee of three members that will be headed by Aasif Sheikh for the tournament. These members will be actively involved with the school management throughout the tournament. Special arrangements will be made on the grounds for the families coming to support their school teams with students. Ground leveling works at the grounds have already been completed for the event.

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