RIYADH: The 2023 National Cricket Championship concluded on Friday in Riyadh with Pakhtunkhwa beating Patriots by five runs in the final.
Pakhtunkhwa had posted a total of 181/8 in 20 overs, before bowling out their opponents for 176 in 19.4 overs.
The championship — which kicked off in January — was organized by the Saudi Arabian Cricket Federation in partnership with Sports For All Federation. The final was held at Nofa Resort in the Kingdom’s capital.
SACF Chairman Prince Saud Bin Mishal Al-Saud told Arab News that the championship is the federation’s most important program.
“It is in 13 regions around the Kingdom and we had more than 9,000 participants,” he said. “We have finals as well in Dammam for all the east coast, and Yanbu for all the west coast and total participants of 9,000 to 10,000,” he added.
Prince Saud said that the 2023 championship was the second iteration of the competition, which is one of four programs under the umbrella of the federation, which aims to promote the sport in Saudi Arabia.
SACF Vice Chairman Nawaf Al-Otaibi told Arab News that the federation had greater ambitions than just organizing competitions.
“Our main mandate as a federation is to build up the infrastructure of the game and make sure that all communities, expats and citizens are able to enjoy the game and be able to play the game more regularly within a proper infrastructure in terms of grass fields and stadiums,” he said.
He added that the SACF’s target is to make the Kingdom a world-class cricketing destination in line with Saudi Vision 2030.
The SACF was established in 2020 with 12 associations in eight regions, and registered over 6,000 players in its first year.
It now has 21 associations covering 13 regions in the Kingdom, with more than 15,000 registered players and over 12 national programs tasked with growing the sport from its grassroots.