The Malaysian Cricket Association (MCA) is confident that they can deliver the three gold medals from cricket at the SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur next year, given the positive development of the sport in the last several years.
Mahinda Vallipuram, the president of the MCA, said: “we have a strong chance to bring home three gold medals from cricket and we are also looking forward to hosting the teams from ASEAN at Kinrara Oval, the Home of Cricket in Malaysia.
“We have to thank the efforts of MSN (National Sports Council) and also the Ministry of Youth and Sports especially Minister YB Khairy Jamaluddin for his endeavour together with Tunku Tan Sri Imran ibni Almarhum Tuanku Ja’afar, President of the Olympic Council of Malaysia to ensure that cricket was included as a medal sport for the SEA Games in 2017.”
At the SEA Games next year, the three events which will be contested are the Men’s 50 over and also T20 formats for men and women.
Mahinda said that for the men’s competition, Malaysia’s main opposition would be Singapore while for the women, it is Thailand.
But he pointed out that Malaysian cricket has grown steadily over the past several years considering that they are now ranked 23rd in the world as against 48th in 2009.
“Since being included at the SEA Games, the men’s team has been hard at work at Kinrara and in the next several weeks, we will also be holding trials for the women’s team,” he added.
“The players now have an immediate target to aim for in the next year where we are also building the team towards the Asian Games in 2018 and also qualify for the Inter-Continental Cup the same year. We are also looking at qualifying for the T20 World Cup in 2020.
“So the SEA Games is the perfect platform for us beginning with the three gold medals.”