Malaysia invited for World Cup
THE Malaysian Cricket Association’s (MCA) dream of the national team playing at a World Cup has been realised three years early.
An invitation for both the men’s and women’s teams to play at the Indoor Cricket World Cup in Dubai on Sept 16-23 from the World Indoor Cricket Federation (WICF) has been accepted by MCA with Malaysia joining seven Test-playing nations, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates at the tournament.
While acknowledging that indoor cricket is not held in same esteem as the traditional format of the sport, MCA president Mahinda Vallipuram said the opportunity to play at a World Cup was too good to pass up.
“Indoor cricket has different rules and format but I am surprised at how quickly our players have adapted to the new format and with great enthusiasm,” said Vallipuram, referring to the National Indoor Championship held last November, in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for Malaysia to play at a World Cup and comes three years before our target of making it to the Twenty20 World Cup in 2020.
“This comes after many firsts for Malaysian cricket, including inclusion in the Sea Games and an invitation to play at the ACC Emerging Teams Cup. While we are happy to play, we also need to be delivering results.”
WICF chairman Greg Donnelly was in Kuala Lumpur to confirm MCA’s membership of the Dubai-based governing body and extend the invitation to play at the World Cup.
National team captain Ahmad Faiz Mohammad Noor said the benefits of playing indoor cricket, with its reduced playing surface, shorter innings and eight-a-side teams, is wide ranging.
“Playing indoor cricket is not so much about skills but much more about strategy,” said Faiz. “It helps me as a captain in figuring out how to win games. The motivation to win games is always there whenever you are given the opportunity.”
MCA plan to organise three indoor tournaments to help selectors form the national teams and prepare for the World Cup.