Cricket is a roundly appreciated sport in Malaysia. Despite the country not being among the top cricket nations, recent performances from the team have shown a lot of potential. Since 1967, the national team has been a member of the International Cricket Council. Today, cricket has gained much popularity locally in Malaysia.
Why Cricket Has Gained Much Popularity in Malaysia?
The sport is popular in the country, mainly because of the great support it receives from the government. There is a well-structured organization in cricket that helps in running the game’s affairs. The sport is governed by the Malaysia Cricket Association, which takes charge of all competitive and administrative activities.
Financially, the government funds the body, which in turn allocates the resources appropriately. This body has made it easy for grassroots cricket to flourish. Talents are discovered from the minor competitions. Through the help of the body, they are trained to become professional cricket players making great contributions to the national team.
Another factor contributing to cricket’s popularity is the huge support from local fans. They avail themselves for matches to support their national team. In 2014, the country hosted the ICC World Cricket League Division Three. This backing from both the government and fans has jointly helped popularise the game.
Team Leadership and Players
The Malaysia National Team is currently coached by Bilal Asad and captained by Ahmad Faiz. Muhamad Syahadat is the vice-captain. Other active team players include Anwar Arudin, Syed Aziz, Suharril Fetri, Anwar Rahman, Abdul Rashid, Sharvin Muniandy, Ainool Haqqiem, Syazrul Idrus, and Shafiq Sharif among others.
Competitions Graced by the Malaysian Cricket Team
The Malaysian national cricket side has been participating in the World Cricket League since 2009. They became champions of the division four category in 2014 and got promoted. Other competitions the team has participated in include Commonwealth Games, The ICC Intercontinental Cup, ICC Trophy, and the ACC Trophy among others. In the Arafura Games, the team won a silver medal in 2007.
Top Malaysian Cricket Players
Some of the top cricket players who have featured in the national side include:
- Ariffin Ramly is one of the best players in Malaysia and is aged 33. He has represented Malaysia since 2002 and is a right-handed batsman.
- Arul Suppiah is 36 years old. He began his international career in 1999 and ended in 2007. Arul is the youngest player to play for the Malaysian side.
Other top players include Ahmad Faiz aged 31 and Anwar Arudin aged 35.
Over the years, the Malaysia national team has set some records in cricket. Some have been broken while some still stand. On 4th October 2019, the team recorded the highest team total against Vanuatu. The score was 206/5. Also, there is a record for the highest individual score held by Syed Aziz, which he set while playing against Vanuatu. This score stands at 87. The best personal bowling record is at 5/4 and was achieved by Khizar Hayat while playing against Hong Kong.
The team has been out of action since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. It is set to return once the ICC matches resume.