Cricket in Mongolia.
It may seem like a strange idea but one Highlands teacher believes the concept has plenty of potential.
Rob Moran was recently selected as a volunteer cricket coach for the Mongolian Amateur Cricket Association.
From July he will spend four months in Mongolia, teaching people about the game and mentoring new coaches.
The Mongolian Amateur Cricket Association (MACA) has been working hard over the past several years to grow the sport.
Rob said there was just one cricket pitch in the country which was in desperate need of an upgrade.
“There’s a permafrost there and it’s pretty hard to get grass in permafrost. So they’re trying to get some people with expert knowledge on grass,” he said.
The push to establish cricket in Mongolia came from Battulga Gombo and began back in 2007.
“They have one cricket coach who speaks English and what they want from me is coach/mentor other people to become coaches,” Rob said.
“They want to create a sport that everybody wants to join in [with].”
Mongolia’s cricket ground is called the Mongolian Friendship Cricket Ground.
Rob will link up with a PE teacher in Mongolia who he will train in as many aspects of cricket as he can.
The pair will then travel to schools to introduce students to the sport.
“It’s [cricket] a little baby and it’s waiting for someone to nurture it along a bit.”
With very little warm weather in Mongolia throughout the year, Rob said they would need to reinvent the sport to make it more accessible.
“We’re going to be rebranding cricket into an indoor style that everybody can get involved in and have fun.
“With only one cricket ground we have to think outside the square.”
He said the long term goal of MACA was to have a team that could potentially compete in the ODI World Cup within 50 years.
The MACA will also be trying to implement street cricket so people in Mongolia can play cricket outside during summer. Visit www.cricketmongolia.mn to learn more about the initiative.