As initially reported by APP, government officials from Saudi Arabia and Pakistan have met to discuss how the two countries can collaborate to promote sports in the Kingdom.
Positive discussions were held between the Ambassador of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in Pakistan, Nawaf bin Saeed Ahmad Al-Maliky, and Dr Fehmida Mirza of the Federal Minister for Inter Provincial Coordination, which is a branch of the Pakistani government.
In particular, Saudi Arabia will be looking to Pakistan’s cricketing experience to help promote the sport in the country. According to the ambassador, the Pakistani cricket team has gained popularity following the growth of cricket in the country. There is hope that by collaborating with the Pakistani government, the sport will continue to grow and will gain valuable insights into how to grow a global sporting entity.
The two parties have apparently reportedly signed a Memorandum of Understanding, however, as explained by Dr Mirza, there is still the need to develop implementation plans regarding how the cooperation and enhancement of sports diplomacy will work in reality.
Mirza has stated that she believed in sporting democracy and that the sports ecosystem in Pakistan currently going through an exciting period as it is experiencing an increase in youth participation.
Saudi Arabia and Pakistan have different expertise in regards to their sporting talents. Saudi Arabia has been more successful on the football field, as the team has participated in five editions of the FIFA World Cup, with the team’s most recent appearance coming at the 2018 competition.
Despite the Saudi Arabian male cricket team making a positive start to life as an official T20I ranked squad, the countries cricketing journey has just started and has plenty of talent that needs refining. Both nations would appear to have a lot to learn from each other, and if the relationship comes to fruition then both nations will benefit.
There is the thought that during the relationship that teams and coaches will be able to collaborate, aiding the sharing of experiences and learning of best practices in the field, as athletes of both countries require further exposure to grow.
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