Despite not having much exposure to cricket, what most of us do not know is that Malaysia is ranked in the top 25 in the world.
Ipoh Echo had the chance recently to interview some of the people involved in the friendly tour match between Kent Street Senior High School, Australia and Perak’s team who were representing Royal Ipoh Club. It was organised by Twin Tours, specialists in themed group tours.
The Kent Street team are coached by Cory Hugo and David Aldridge. They scored 138 runs while Royal Ipoh Club lost by four runs.
The event occurs every two years, where Kent Street comes for a two week tour, traveling around four places, namely Ipoh, Johor Bahru, Penang and Kuala Lumpur.
“The whole point of this is about creating a relationship between Australia and Malaysia. There are 15 players in a game of cricket, where only 11 will be playing and four will be kept as reserves. Cricket is about having 15 of them in a team respecting each other,” said Perak’s coach, SSM Andy.
Kent Street has been touring for 15 years and this was their 10th tour to Malaysia.
“As much as we focus on education, cricket is the main emphasis in Kent Street. I played my first tournament a number of years ago in Thailand, where our team was against the Silver State team. That was where I met a lovely chap, Bill Davidson,” said Michael Maher, managing director of Twin Tours.
“Bill became a good friend of mine. He approached me, asking me to come to Ipoh. I said if he can guarantee me he’ll arrange it, I’ll speak to the teachers. And that was how it all began,” he continued.
This was their third visit in Ipoh. Michael expressed how much he enjoyed the different cultures they encounter in the midst of traveling for matches. He also emphasised on how there is more to cricket than just batting and bowling. In the end, it is all about respect, behaviour and manners.
Following his father’s footsteps who is now Perak’s coach, Sharvin Muniandy, 21, has been playing cricket for 10 years. He encourages people from all ages to start. The youngest in the group is Pavel who is only 12.
“I don’t get why football is the main attraction when Malaysian cricket is obviously doing so much better,” said Sharvin.
Kent Street player, Hugh Atkinson, 16, has been playing cricket since he was nine. He told Ipoh Echo how different the weather in Malaysia is, compared to Australia.
“It’s very hot here,” he said with a laugh. “Although it’s harder to concentrate, it’s a really good experience and I’m honoured to be here,” said Hugh.
For anyone who is interested in playing cricket, the Perak boys will be practising every weekend in Ipoh Padang. Indoor sessions, on the other hand, take place every Monday, Wednesday and Friday in Stadium Indera Mulia. Both sessions are in the evening. For further details, do contact SSM Andy at 016 542 7977.