Singapore’s Chetan Suryawanshi lifts Pepsi ICC World Cricket League Division 6, September 2009
It’s been a tough year at the races for Singapore, in fact they haven’t even been at them. Absence from top flight ACC competition because of demotion from the Senior and U-19 Elite Levels has meant they’ve missed out on chances to qualify for this year’s ICC U/19 and Twenty20 World Cups. This from a country that at the end of 2008 were at the top of the ACC rankings.

“To say they’ve been disappointed at what will become at least four years out of the business end of ACC Elite events is an understatement but in cricket you get what you play for and it shows just how much other countries have moved ahead in order to push Singapore back,” says ACC Development Officer for Singapore Aminul Islam who recently completed an assignment on the island.

At the end of 2008, going into 2009, prospects were bright for Singapore. There was a buzz to the country’s cricket – they had a new home ground at Kallang, domestic activity was booming, and the national team were coming together as a fine mix of youth and experience of home-grown and migrant talent. They romped through Pepsi ICC World Cricket League Division 6 to finish unbeaten and went to Nepal for Division 5 with high hopes. Four runs cost them. They lost out by the equivalent of a boundary over the five matches they played to miss out on a top two place and thus promotion to Division 4. Momentum, with them for a year and more, stopped. A month later they were bottom of the ACC Trophy Elite and now have to wait until this year’s Trophy Challenge in December in order to get back into the Elite for 2014. It’s tough at the top.

2010 ACC U-16 Champions

Still, the Singapore U-16s – fresh thinking, fresh players – won their Elite division in Nepal in 2010, a most creditable performance. And the women try. Nevertheless it’s senior team cricket that wins the most attention and Singapore need to either win or finish second in this year’s Pepsi ICC World Cricket League Division 5 if they are to resume advancing. Standing still’s not good enough anymore. This is a world of rankings and exposure. Countries one could not imagine playing cricket ten years ago, are now competing for attention and funding and outranking Singapore. Singapore as a country is the envy of billions. As cricketers, being the envy of millions will be a good start.

Back to basics: Chetan Suryawanshi takes Level I coaching candidates through a batting module, November 2011

“All the attention of the Singapore Cricket Association is on this Division 5 coming up in February. The national team may be preparing in India in order to guarantee as much match-practise as possible in dry conditions. Trevor Chappell (who was with Singapore for 2009’s Division 6 and is no stranger to Aminul Islam from his time as Bangladesh coach during which Aminul played nine Tests) is again the coach and if they can play to their best they have every chance of getting through,” says Aminul. “Trevor’s a great utility coach and is going to help them a lot. Interim coach Saad Khan Janjua will be just a player now so Trevor’s assistant will be (man of many hats) Sarika Prasad. I’ve been quite impressed by some of the players coming through,” adds the ACC Development Officer who conducted a Level I coaching workshop during his time in Singapore.

Singapore Cricket Profile

Filed January 5th, 2012