Cape Town - The importance of legacy was apparent as one of South Africa’s oldest cricket clubs received much-needed assistance from the Turkish Co-operation and Co-ordination Agency (TIKA).
The Ottoman Cricket Club in Surrey Estate received a fresh boost from TIKA so that the sport can thrive for years to come.
TIKA has worked closely with the club since 2014, assisting with renovations of its building and training fields.
Last year, TIKA generously invested in renovating the field and improving water filtration systems, and a new lawnmower for the club.
However, this year the donation of a brand-new lawnmower, water filtration system and improvement to the bowling landing surfaces as well as new batting nets, was made extra special with the Turkish Ambassador, Aysegul Kandas, attending the handover ceremony by TIKA at the club’s grounds on Saturday.
Fareed Abrahams, chairperson of the Ottoman Cricket Club, said the funding for the seven nets means every batsman gets an equal go in the nets.
“Whereas we had two nets before, it literally gave our batters 10 to 15 minutes a session and not anyone could bat,” he explained.
TIKA co-ordinator Abdulkadir Abukan has already spearheaded more than 80 projects across southern Africa since 2018, with 65 in South Africa.
“Having those facilities really pushes the ability for the club to perform and compete in their respective leagues,” Abrahams said.
The Ottoman Cricket Club was founded in Cape Town in 1882 by a group of students of Ottoman Scholar Abu Bakr Effendi.
“Both our first team and second team got promotion to a higher league and at the moment our first team is second on the log behind Brackenfell,” Abrahams said.
At the ceremony, Kandas described TIKA’s multiple projects as a symbol of the strong friendship between SA and Türkiye.
“For her to come down personally and to be part of this handing over ceremony was extremely special to the club,” Abrahams added.