Last Sunday as Zakry & Fairuzizuan were busy keeping the Malaysian flag flying in Jakarta by winning the badminton doubles, the Malaysian national cricket team at a game in Kinrara staged a walk out in protest of an Umpire's decision. The manner of protest became questionable as the current National Coach, seconded by Asian Cricket Council (ACC), made his way into the field and requested the national players to walk out. Supporting that decision and also calling off the game was the National Team Manager, who is also the paid Executive Secretary of Malaysian Cricket Association (MCA).
Notwithstanding what the MCA's Vice President stated to the local media as a one off incident, in fact the trouble had been brewing for a certain period in time. A national player and an official of the Umpire's Board had a verbal clash in the field over a "run out" decision. The player, who could be referred to as a Senior player, contested the decision by his antics of throwing his cricket cap on the ground. This permitted some unnecessary verbal comments from both sides including vulgarity from the Umpire. I understand the Umpire was honest enough to admit to it.
This problem is further compounded by the presences of Sri Lankan expatriates brought by MCA for the local league. These players who come in with great expense to MCA had been intimidating the local Umpires. The 7 Sri Lankans here, were not the ones selected by MCA representatives who went out to Colombo in March 2008. The cricketers who were selected were players playing in the Sri Lankla premier league. Somehow, they dropped out before the trip to Malaysia and a certain former Sri Lankan Test cricketer replaced them with their 2nd league players. These players are to be seconded to the teams in MCA main league. It would seem that MCA had gone to great expense to bring trouble to the cricket scene in Malaysia.
Coming back to last Sunday's game, it would not be difficult to know who the National team was playing. No other than the Sri Lankan expats. The story gets even more into gossip nature, as there had been allegations that the National Coach manhandled the Umpire. This matter is being disputed. It is interesting to note that the National Coach is a former Test cricketer for Sri Lanka.
All this shows the shabby nature of the administration of cricket in MCA. What is surprising is how MCA's Vice President pushes the "dirt under the carpet" when he states that it is an isolated incident. The lack of discipline among the national players, compounded by the heavy handed approach of a ACC seconded coach shows total disrespect to Umpires, the custodians of the game in the field. The handling of the issue by the Team Manager and the MCA Vice-President shows to what extend they both go to "pooh pooh" the whole matter, as though it is a trivial issue. This is how "prima donnas" are created and they become a cricketing misfit.