After almost 14 years, Perak Cricket Association has succeeded in getting cricket as one of the competing sports in Malaysia Games (Sukma) 2018. This edition of the biennial games will be hosted by Perak.
Association president, Iqbal Ali Kassim Ali said the last time cricket was in Sukma 2004, and Perak was the champion.
“We lobbied many times for cricket to be in the Games, and finally we got it. It’s on the right momentum, after Malaysia won a gold medal in cricket during SEA Games 2017, and eventually it’s in Sukma too,” he told reporters during the PCA Gala Dinner held at the Royal Ipoh Club on Saturday, September 30.
Malaysian Cricket Association President Mahinda Vallipuram, who was present at the dinner said venues have yet to be confirmed. Three places have been identified one of which is Ipoh Padang.
“It’s very nice to see Ipoh Padang returned to the glory days of cricket. We’re confident that Perak can host, as the state has excellent venues,” he pointed out.
“I’m pleased that Perak is hosting Sukma, and getting cricket back into the games is fantastic. Sukma 2018 will give the sport a timely boost. Hopefully, it’ll remain a permanent fixture in subsequent Games.
“These are our expectations. Firstly, we want to work together with Perak to ensure smoothness in execution, in terms of venue, technical services and preparedness,” said Mahinda.
The dinner’s objective was to raise funds for the state association.
“We need money to pay coaches and to organise tournaments. We’ve no choice but to raise our own funds. The association needs at least RM150,000 annually.
“Frankly speaking, we don’t get much funding from the state or federal, as opposed to other sports,” he lamented.