Mahinda Vallipuram - President of Malaysian Cricket Association (2005-present)
Malaysia will be your host for the Under-19 Eastern Region that will house 15 games at three different venues. Preparations are underway – and our team is trying their best to ensure nothing but top-quality. The President of Malaysian Cricket Association spared a minute for an interview – we want to know how the upcoming games will be affecting Malaysia, how hosting such a prominent tournament will help us progress further into a developed cricket nation.

1. What did it take for us to qualify to be hosts for the ACC U-19 Eastern Region?
“Just last year, the council decided that the Asian region should be split up into two - that’s how we came about with the Eastern Region and the Western Region. Malaysia had put up their hands and said that we would host the first U-19 Eastern Region games. The ACC has always recognized Malaysia as a country that delivers and executes events well, and we are grateful that they’ve allowed us to host the tournament.”

2. What do you think we need to successfully host the games, what can we do?
“It’s almost always the venue – quality of the field, the pitch. We ensure that they are properly prepared, so we get good cricket played - we want to be fair to all countries. We look to make all teams feel welcomed in our home so logistics must be good. Most importantly it all comes down to the venue itself – it must not only be playable but delivers excellent quality as well.”

SEA Games 2017: Mahinda Vallipuram with Thailand Women’s team during

3. Do you think this a big milestone for Malaysian cricket?
“Hosting events are always good – there’s always that home ground advantage, but you create awareness amongst Malaysians as well. We want schools, our ministry of education, state organizations – to use this opportunity to promote the sport within the country. As this is an under 19 event, it’s a pathway to promoting cricket to more youngsters. Certainly, we see that competition is greater. We are a bit unlucky this year that a number of our players are involved with SPM and exams, but the good thing about it is because of the development we have had, we have more players to represent Malaysia.”

4. How do you think can this event boost up Malaysia’s identity within the international cricket community?
“When you come to the international community, we want to be seen as quality event-organizers, we want to ensure our ranking is good. Although this is not a ICC ranking event but it gives the opportunity to nurture our players and give them international exposure. It is always a chance to showcase how are players are doing, what kind of development we have here in Malaysia, what are our pathways like. This goes well not only for Malaysia but regionally as well, as Malaysia continues to be a cricket hub for all.”

Filed September 8th, 2017