Article - Malaysian cricket mourns the passing of JCC president Dr Harjit
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Malaysian cricket mourns the passing of JCC president Dr Harjit

Malaysian Cricket Association Admin (Malaysian)
19/10/2020

Malaysian cricket mourns the passing of JCC president Dr Harjit

Malaysian cricket lost a long-serving and dedicated official with the passing of Johor Cricket Council (JCC) president Dato Dr Harjit Singh on Monday. He was 70.

A lifelong cricketer, Dr Harjit's contribution to the sport was immense from playing cricket for club, state and country to serving as an official in various capacities at state and national level.

Dr Harjit was recognised and awarded the Johor Sports Leadership Award in 1989, 1995 and 2007. In appreciation of his services to cricket, he was awarded the Olympic Council of Malaysia's Anugerah Khas by His Majesty Yang Di Pertuan Agong in 1998.

Malaysian Cricket Association (MCA) president Mahinda Vallipuram said Dr Harjit's passing will be greatly felt given his immense contribution to the development of the sport in Johor and Malaysia.

"Today is a very sad day for Malaysian cricket as we learn that Dato Dr Harjit Singh has passed away," said Mahinda. "Dato has been a great contributor to the development of the game in Malaysia and Johor. Always there to lend a view and constantly pushes the boundaries. Many young talents and national cricketers have been developed under his leadership. 

"Our deepest condolences and sympathies to the family. May he eternally rest in peace. God bless! We will miss you." 

One of the longest-serving presidents of a sports association in the country, Dr Harjit helmed JCC since 1987 and served MCA as deputy president from 1990 to 2003.

Key to the development of cricket in Johor was Dr Harjit's decision to focus on grassroots development by introducing cricket in primary schools under the Kancil Programme "Catch ‘em Young" when he became JCC president. 

The schools were provided balls and bats while teachers were formallyforma trained in the game. The scheme grew from 17 schools in Johor Bahru to some 200 schools in 11 districts.

Dr Harjit also spearheaded Johor's first dedicated cricket academy at Taman Mutiara Rini in 1998, one of the few cricket grounds in the country certified as an international playing venue, which hosted the inaugural ACC Women’s Tournament in 2007, the ICC Under-19 World Cup in 2008 and several Saudara Cup matches. In 2008, the first indoor cricket hall in Southeast Asia was built on the grounds. 

The son of former renowned Kilat Club cricketer Meva Singh, Dr Harjit started his cricket profession by playing for the English College, Johor Bahru from 1963 to 1966. At the age of 16, he became the youngest player to represent Johor in the MCA League. He captained his Medical College XI and represented Ranchi University and Dhanbad District while studying medicine in India.

He returned to play cricket for Malaysia in 1980, making his only appearance for the national team in the Saudara Cup. From 1982 to 1985, he captained Johor in the MCA League. 

Dr Harjit leaves behind his wife Kaldip Kaur and sons Dr Rajinder and Gurdip. A wake will be held at Nirvana 2, 568, Jalan Dewan Bahasa, Kuala Lumpur from 2pm to 6 pm on Oct 20. The cortege will leave from 68Z3, Jalan Indera Putra, Johor Bahru at 3pm on Oct 21 for cremation.

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