At the centre of the MCA and UPSI MoU, UPSI Vice Chancellor Prof. Dato' Dr. Zakaria bin Kasa and MCA Vice President Devindran Ramanathan
Picture by Malaysian Cricket Association

The Malaysian Cricket Association have signed an MoU with the premier Teacher Training institution in the country, the Universiti Pendididkan Sultan Idris (Sultan Idris University of Education/UPSI) in Perak. Under the program, a succession of PE teachers from across Malaysia will be taught the basics of cricket coaching so that they can go and carry cricket back to their schools. “Until you get the teachers you can’t get the students,” says the MCA’s Development Manager Dinesh Muthuraman.

The UPSI is one of the oldest universities in Malaysia, and situated on a splendid campus, an hour’s drive from the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur on the way to Ipoh. Dr. Jeffrey Low of UPSI created a generation of cricketers at the Bukit Jalil Sports School at his time there from 1996 to 2004, a number of whom, including the past and current Malaysia captains Suhan Kumar and Ahmad Faiz, went on to play for the national team once he brought cricket into BJSS in 1999. Under his program at UPSI, student-teachers of sports science and physical education will first learn basic cricket before graduating in successive years to what could be an MCA Level I coaching qualification. UPSI’s intake is around 150 student teachers of PE and sports science a year. “We even hope that a team of the UPSI teachers will be formed,” says MCA Vice President Devindran Ramanathan, “the facilities are certainly excellent there.” A fact confirmed by Dr. Low, who says that until the 1960s, on coir-matting wickets, cricket used to be regularly played on the campus grounds.

With 389 schools across Malaysia currently playing cricket the plan is to roll out a succession of MoUs with ten more universities and schools across the country in order to develop cricket at all levels. Cricket is part of the secondary school curriculum but it is not taught as much as it could be because there aren’t enough teachers able to teach the game. The MCA will provide plastic playing kits to all schools expressing an interest in the game. “Players are what we need,” says Dinesh. Given Dr. Low’s track record, players of quality and now quantity are what Malaysia will have in the years ahead.

Malaysia Cricket Profile

Filed January 27th, 2014