Perak Cricket Association organised the third edition of the Perak International Sixes from Friday October 21 to Sunday, October 23. The game was held at the Ipoh Padang cricket pitch. Three teams from India, two from Sri Lanka and ten from Malaysia participated. All teams paid a fee to partake in the tournament – RM1500 for foreigners and RM1000 for locals.
The Freddy Ferguson Trophy was basically a dedicated tournament for cricket teams in Perak. However, beginning 2014 a change in format was instituted to enhance the scope of the competition. It became an annual tournament where some 12 to 16 local and international teams compete for mastery of the game here in Ipoh. The new format has gained not only acceptance but recognition too.
A dinner to entertain officials and participants was held at Royal Ipoh Club on Saturday October 22. President of the Malaysian Cricket Association, Mahinda Vallipuram was in attendance.
“Every year we recognise a local cricketer who has brought life to the game. In 2014, we had two and 2015 we had three. This year, we honour the late R. Letchumanan from Tanjung Rambutan,” said Mohammed Iqbal Ali, President of Perak Cricket Association.
Letchumanan was instrumental in instilling an interest in cricket among Tanjung Rambutan folks. He was the person responsible for producing a number of talented players who represented Perak and then Malaya in the 1920s and 1930s.
South Smashers ‘B’ from India was the overall champion beating Sri Lankan Army ‘B’ from Sri Lanka. In the first inning, South Smashers batted first and scored 64 runs in 5 overs. In the second inning, Sri Lanka Army scored 60 runs in 5 overs. The Sri Lankan team won by four wickets. The Royal Ipoh Club team was beaten by the Lanka Lions in the quarter-final.
“Malaysia is currently ranked 23rd in the world. I hope we’ll be in the top 20 or perhaps top 15 soon. We have the potential,” said Iqbal to Ipoh Echo.
Perak, incidentally, is the most active state in cricket and the standard of the game among its players is rising. Some 31 schools in the state have cricket as part of their sporting curriculum.
Readers keen on taking up the sport, especially those below 12 years old, can report at Ipoh Padang every Saturday at 9am for training. The Perak Cricket Junior Development programme is underway. Call SSM Andy at 016 542 7977 for details.