Monday, March 1

SCA moots setting up cricket centre at SMK Balai Ringin

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Harris (right) with (from left) SCA treasurer Chew Pok Cheong, Sarawak cricket head coach Pramuka Sidesh and Rodzli at the Sarawak Indoor Stadium. — Photo courtesy of Sarawak Cricket Association

KUCHING: The Sarawak Cricket Association (SCA) has suggested to the Malaysian Cricket Association the possibility of setting up a cricket centre at SMK Balai Ringin in Serian.

SCA treasurer Chew Pok Cheong, who conveyed the suggestion to MCA Cricket Centre of Excellence coordinator Harris Abu Bakar, a similar centre would help further expand the development of the sport in the state. Harris, who selects players for the national team, was in Kuching last Friday to visit the Cricket Centre of Excellence at SMK Bako.

Fifteen form one students have enrolled at this centre under the watchful eyes of full-time Sri Lankan coach Nalin Ranga Kumar Wickramasinghe.

Harris also paid a courtesy to Sarawak Sports Corporation sports development division manager Ahmad Rodzli Hashim to discuss the development of cricket in Sarawak as well as the cooperation between MCA and SSC.

Among the other development plans discussed were ways to introduce “Cricket Adiwira”, an entry level programme for cricket introduced nationwide by MCA which can be played by anyone, anywhere and anytime.

Cricket Adiwira is a simple and fun format and the participants picked it up immediately.

Harris, the former national cricketer and wicket keeper batsman, hoped that through Cricket Adiwira, more and more teachers, parents and children are exposed to cricket. He said MCA can assist in conducting courses for coaches, umpires and teachers for Cricket Adiwira programme while SSC will provide the facilities to run the courses.

Meanwhile, Rodzli hoped that local cricket coaches will be in demand one day in other countries through this initiative.

He reassured that SSC is passionate in implementing grass roots development as a feeder to higher level.

“Both SSC and MCA share the same passion and dreams of building a strong cricket team for Sarawak.” he said.

SSC and MCA agreed that for the Cricket Centre of Excellence programme to be successful, more facilities such as playing field with cricket centre wicket and nets need to be provided or built in the schools concerned.

SSC is currently in the midst of constructing a RM5.9 million International Cricket and Rugby Ground at the Sarawak Sports Complex in Petra Jaya.

Rodzli also expressed SSC’s aspiration to host the Borneo Games in 2021 with the participation of countries such as the Philippines, Indonesia, Brunei, Northern Territories of Australia, Papua New Guinea and others.