Timely boost for cricket development at the grassroots level

PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Cricket Association (MCA) received a shot in the arm thanks to the RM4.6mil sponsorship from Yayasan Sime Darby.

The money will be channelled to help grassroots development at the Cricket Adiwira Programme and the Women’s Development Programme.

Their president Mahinda Vallipuram said the confidence shown by YSD is timely in helping the game grow in the country.

“We have worked tirelessly over the years to establish structures which would give us the ability to deliver on our aspirations and targets, ” said Mahinda.

“We think that participation at an early age is key to long term sustainability that will allow Malaysia to become one of the top playing countries soon, ” he said.

Yayasan Sime Darby chairman Tunku Tan Sri Imran Ibni Almarhum Tuanku Ja’afar said YSD is thrilled to collaborate with Malaysian Cricket to introduce the game to more than 130,000 schoolchildren.“Apart from developing interest in the game at the grassroots, the programme also helps identify and recruit budding female talents into the various age categories under the National Cricket Development Programme, ” said Tunku Imran.

“Ultimately, we aim to produce 15 professional women players to qualify for the T20 Cricket World Cup in 2023.

“We also believe that female athletes have the potential to excel and make our country proud just as well if not better than their male counterparts.”

Through the scope of YSD’s sponsorship, Malaysian Cricket has set a road map that enables all children regardless of their socio-economic background to play cricket under the Cricket Adiwira Programme, thus, creating a generation of children who believe and uphold unity in diversity whilst acquiring a sense of pride as Malaysian sports-persons.

Under the programme, each primary school encompasses a pool of 128 students playing cricket. There will be four programmes per year, per school, where 32 players will play in each programme, to achieve 458 schools in 3 years.

In the Girl’s Development and High-Performance Pathway Programme, Malaysian Cricket targets the Women’s U19 team and the Senior Women’s team to showcase their talent in the international arena.

YSD’s support would allow the U19 Women’s team to have centralised training, play in quality competitions and give them the exposure needed to qualify for the Cricket World Cup. Through this pathway, it will improve the women’s International Cricket Council (ICC) World Ranking, and this will lead the women’s team to qualify for the ICC T20 Cricket World Cup. Also, the support will provide the team with a chance to be eligible for the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, UK.

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