Malaysian cricket body seeks PM’s help to save Kinrara Oval

Cricket enthusiasts, fans and trainees held a protest at the Kinrara Oval cricket ground in Puchong recently to urge the authorities to intervene.

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Cricket Association (MCA) hopes Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad will help resolve the Kinrara Oval issue with the developer of the land.

Its president Mahinda Vallipuram said the national cricket governing body had handed over a summary of the case during a 45-minute meeting with the prime minister’s political secretary, Abu Bakar Yahya, at Perdana Putra today to bring the issue to Mahathir’s attention.

“We believe losing the iconic ground is not only a tremendous loss for MCA, but also the country. We are appealing for the prime minister to help resolve the issue.

“We do not know what will be the next course of action. We will wait for Tun’s advice,” he said when contacted by Bernama.

MCA was asked to vacate the Kinrara Oval in Kinrara, Puchong, where their headquarters, national players’ hostel and training ground have been located since 2005.

The developer wants back the land as the lease ends on Oct 31.

Yesterday, some national players, including national men’s team captain Ahmad Faiz Mohammad Noor and women’s team skipper Winifred Anne Duraisingam, as well as MCA members, held a rally in Putrajaya in an attempt to meet Mahathir.

The prime minister is currently attending the inaugural Asean Leaders’ Gathering, held simultaneously with the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank, from Oct 8 to 14 in Bali, Indonesia.

Among the tournaments hosted at the Kinrara Oval were the 2008 Under-19 (U-19) World Cup, 2006-07 DLF Cup played between Australia, India and the West Indies (seven matches), 2017 Asian Cricket Council (ACC) U-19 Asia Cup, 2017 SEA Games and ACC Women’s Asia Cup.

Recently, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) picked the Kinrara Oval as its home to play its women’s limited-overs series against Australia on Oct 18 to 29.

The Malaysian men’s team is ranked 27th in the world among 95 cricket-playing nations.

At last year’s Kuala Lumpur SEA Games, cricket delivered a gold, silver and bronze medals.