Malaysian cricket continued to make strides forward in 2018 with the expansion of grassroots development feeding into the the ever-growing national pool of players.
The Malaysian Cricket Association’s determination in developing the sport is reflected by its reach in schools across the country with more than 800 schools playing cricket while over 800 teachers have been certified as Level 1 and Level 0 coaches.
In attempting to grow the sport, the number of national leagues at various age-group levels run by Malayisan Cricket has grown to 34 while efforts have been made to introduce Under-12 competitions.
The introduction of Adiwira Cricket programme at state level is meant to get more school children exposed to cricket from an early age and a roll-out at national level is planned.
Malaysian Cricket president Mahinda Vallipuram said Adiwira is a basic programme to grow interest in the sport by simplifying the rules so that children and teachers will be able to understand and play cricket.
While Malaysian Cricket steadily steers its development programmes, the national teams have been given a boost following the appointment of Sri Lankan Sampath Perera as national coach.
Perera is committed to giving talented young players a chance on the international stage with the likes of Syed Aziz Syed Mubarak, Virandeep Singh and Anwar Rahman exposed at the highest level.
Malaysian Cricket have also taken the step of sending Syed Aziz and Sivanantha Gobal Krishnan to Sri Lanka for a four-month attachment with Ragama Cricket Club in a bid to improve Malaysia’s ranking of 27th in the world and narrow the gap to the sides above.
The men’s team only narrowly missed out on promotion from the World Cricket League Division Four on net run-rate to Denmark while advancing to the Asian Regional Finals in the qualifying rounds for the ICC World Twenty20 tournament.
The national players also gained valuable experience in the ACC Asia Cup Qualifier where Malaysia upset Hong Kong in the opening match.
The women’s national team were able to gauge where they stood in Asia when playing the continent’s best at the ACC Women’s Asia Cup while succeeding in retaining the Saudari Cup against Singapore.
In the release of the new women’s T20I rankings, Malaysia are ranked 31st.
Malaysia’s profile on the international stage grew further with the appointment of Mahinda to the International Cricket Council’s board of directors.
The hosting of the women’s limited overs series between Pakistan and Australia at the Kinrara Oval also highlighted the country as a destination for top level international cricket.
The series showcased the Kinrara Oval as a top-quality ground and reflects MCA’s commitment to using it as an asset to grow the sport in the country and region.
On the domestic front, Kuala Lumpur remained the dominant team in the country after claiming a hat-trick double of Premier League and Premier Cup titles while the Royal Malaysian Air Force retained the MCA Women’s T20 Championship title.
RESULTS OF MEN’S AND WOMEN’S NATIONAL TEAMS IN 2018
MEN’S NATIONAL TEAM
WCL Division 4
beat Uganda by 9 runs
beat Vanuatu by 23 runs
lost Denmark by 33 runs
lost Jersey by 10 runs (D/L)
versus Bermuda abandoned
beat Bermuda by 89 runs
ACC Asia Cup Qualifier
beat Hong Kong by 3 wickets
lost Oman by 2 wickets
lost Nepal by 19 runs
lost UAE by 8 wickets
lost Singapore by 29 runs
ICC World Twenty20 Asia Qualifier
beat Bhutan by 67 runs
versus Thailand abandoned
lost Nepal by 8 wickets
lost Singapore by 40 runs
beat Myanmar by 8 wickets (D/L)
beat China by 10 wickets
Stan Nagaiah Trophy (50 overs) – 2017 edition
Match 1 – abandoned
Match 2 – beat Singapore by 5 wickets (D/L)
Match 3 – lost Singapore by 2 runs
Stan Nagaiah Trophy (T20) – 2018 edition
Match 1 – lost Singapore by 2 wickets
Match 2 – lost Singapore by 4 wickets
Match 3 – lost Singapore by 6 wickets
WOMEN’S NATIONAL TEAM
Women’s Twenty20 Asia Cup
lost India by 142 runs
lost Sri Lanka by 90 runs
lost Thailand by 9 wickets
lost Pakistan by 147 runs
lost Bangladesh by 70 runs
Match 1 – beat Singapore by 38 runs
Match 2 – beat Singapore by 6 wickets
Match 3 – lost Singapore by 29 runs
Match 1 – lost Singapore by 5 wickets
Match 2 – beat Singapore by 26 runs
Match 3 – beat Singapore by 4 wickets