Cricketers to get a ‘ton’ of help
THE Malaysian Cricket Association (MCA) can expect more government assistance after Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin held them up as an example for others to follow.
MCA have had to fend largely for themselves over the past decade but that has not prevented the national body from developing their own headquarters and playing venue at the Kinrara Oval.
Although the land on which MCA sit is leased from a property developer, Khairy commended the association led by Mahinda Vallipuram for the improving performances of the men’s national cricket team and work being done at the grassroots.
This led to Khairy agreeing to MCA’s request for cricket to make its debut in the Sea Games this year.
“We reward performances and one of the reasons I agreed with Mahinda’s request for cricket to be included in the Sea Games is because MCA and the men’s national team have shown tremendous improvement over the last few years,” said Khairy during a visit to the Kinrara Oval yesterday.
“It’s only fair for us to give them the stage at the Sea Games for the Malaysian public to see how far cricket has come. With that also comes support.
“Of course, a lot of this has been developed by MCA on their own but with the improved performance we have to reward them.
“That’s why just for the refurbishment ahead of the Sea Games, the government has committed more than RM1.2 million to upgrade the Kinrara Oval and complement what the MCA has done.”
Among the upgrading work done at the Sea Games cricket venue is the renovation of the dressing rooms, increasing seating capacity to 1,500 and top dressing of the wicket with Darwin clay.
“I think having cricket at the Sea Games here will boost its profile and I’m sure they will bring back some gold medals,” said Khairy.
Cricket offers three gold medals at the Sea Games in the men’s and women’s Twenty20 competitions and the men’s 50overs event with MCA targeting both the men’s gold medals.
“We are very grateful to be in the Sea Games and we should do better than our best,” said Vallipuram. “I’m confident our men and women will be able to do it.”
Earlier, Khairy unveiled a plaque honouring former MCA president Tunku Imran Tuanku Ja’afar and the naming of MCA’s Hall of Fame as the “Imran Stateroom.” Devinder Singh
Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin inspecting the Kinrara Oval which is to be the cricket venue for the KL Sea Games in Puchong yesterday.