National cricket icon Dr Harjit Singh dies at 70

JOHOR BARU: The Malaysian cricket scene has lost a giant, following the death of Johor Cricket Council (JCC) president Datuk Dr Harjit Singh.

It is learnt that Dr Harjit died due to heart complications at the National Heart Institute (IJN) around 11.50pm on Monday (Oct 19) night.

Malaysian Cricket Association president Mahindra Vallipuram said it was a sad day for cricket in the country, following the passing of Dr Harjit Singh.

“He 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, ” he said, adding that many young talents and national cricketers have been developed under his leadership.

Mahindra forwarded the association’s deepest condolences and sympathies to Dr Harjit Singh’s family and said they would miss such an important figure.

Dr Harjit Singh, 70, was born on April 10,1950, and the son of former renowned Kilat Club cricketer, Meva Singh.

He started his cricket profession when he played for Maktab Sultan Abu Bakar, or better known as English College from 1963 to 1966.

At 16 years old, Dr Harjit Singh became the youngest player to represent Johor in the senior Malaysian Cricket League.

He also 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, where from 1982 until 1985, he captained the Johor cricket team in the national league.

As an official, Dr Harjit Singh held various positions in cricket starting as JCC president from 1987 and Malaysian Cricket Association deputy president between 1990 and 2003.

He was also the founder of the first cricket programme in primary schools not only in Johor but also in Malaysia in 1987.

Under his leadership, JCC set up the first dedicated cricket ground academy at Taman Mutiara Rini, which was the largest cricket ground in Malaysia, back in 1998.

In 2008, JCC built the first indoor cricket hall in Southeast Asia at the grounds which has hosted the inaugural Asian Cricket Council Women’s Tournament in 2007 and the International Cricket Council Under-19 World Cup in 2008.

For all his contribution, Dr Harjit Singh has been recognised and awarded the Johor Sports Leadership Awards in 1989,1995 and 2007.

In appreciation of his services to cricket, he was presented with a special award by Yang Di Pertuan Agong in 1998.

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