24 of Malaysia’s next generation of aspiring coaches took part in a Level I coaching course to be held by the Malaysian Cricket Association (MCA) in conjunction with the ACC, at the Kinrara Oval in Kuala Lumpur this week. Previously, Malaysia has hosted many courses for the ACC. This was just the second time that the MCA has taken the lead in developing its home-grown coaches.

Aminul Islam (left-side, grey shirt) with the participants, Faris Almas is to his left in the white shirt

Malaysian Level II coaches M. Muniandy and Shanker Retinam, who are ex-national players, and Yeshodh Parameswaran have passed through the ACC and Cricket Australia coaching courses, and they along with ACC Development Officer for Malaysia Aminul Islam conducted the course. “This course was an adaptation of current Level I coaching in light of the new realities of the modern game. We try focussing on the various versions of the game. We ran through different strategies and also practiced fielding, batting, bowling and also taught them exercises like dynamic stretching. Team building is also a major component of this course. Malaysia’s lucky to have these coaches, it should make maximum use of them,” says Mr. Islam.

A practicing sports psychologist, Mr. Retinam is also the Head of Sports Science for the state of Perak. “The responsibility of monitoring these coaches now lies with the state associations of Malaysia and it is their job to guide and encourage them. The course has been a great learning experience for everyone and we hope these coaches spread the game back in their home-states,” says Mr. Retinam.

Cricket, once the premier sport in Malaysia, has suffered in player participation since the 1970s once cricket was taken out of the national sports curriculum. In 1986 Malaysia were good enough to beat Bangladesh in that year’s ICC Trophy, and in 1998 contested an ACC Trophy Final against a World Cup-bound Bangladesh, M.Muniandy and Aminul Islam on opposite sides in that match. “Malaysia had some good players then, with probably a 30% chance of beating Bangladesh,” says Mr. Islam. Since then, Malaysia’s global ranking has slipped as more countries have started playing cricket seriously but in signs of a renaissance for cricket this year, 369 schools across Malaysia have introduced cricket into their sporting curriculum (a 25% increase from 2008).

Three current national team players, Faris Almas, Ahmad Faiz and Hassan Ghulam were among the 24 aspiring coaches along with Intan Safina, a member of the Malaysian women’s team. “Faris and Ahmad Faiz are university students and that they should already be looking to start coaching will not only help them as cricketers, it will help Malaysia as a whole. These boys have been part of a 10-year development program in Malaysia and ten years from now we believe that there will be even more players of their ability in Malaysia thanks to the example of people like these two and all the other coaches being trained,” says MCA Hon. Secretary Sivanandan Chinnadurai.

Malaysia Country Profile

Filed Dec 31st, 2009