Tunku Imran, 61, President of Malaysian Cricket Association (MCA) and also of Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) was honoured by the International Cricket Council (ICC) with the Lifetime Service Achievement Award. Being President of MCA for nearly 17 years, this is a fitting honour by the world apex body of cricket to Asia's long serving cricket administrator. It has to be noted that Tunku has taken MCA into a different paradigm, if we were to compare to what it was prior to 1992.
In an interview published at Asian Cricket Council (ACC) website, www.asiancricket.org , Tunku Imran believes that the honour must be shared with his family and with all those involved with him in cricket. He takes the view that it is a team effort, very much like cricket, for which he happened to be the leader. A true sportsman, sharing his glory with everyone who interacted with him in cricket. Humility of the highest order by this Negri Sembilan Prince.
This aspect is best seen when Tunku Imran elaborates that cricket is a gentlemen's game and over the years all the people he dealt with are gentlemen. Seriously, it would seem that despite all the criticisms levelled against him, Tunku Imran has no axe to grind. It would seem he himself is a perfect gentleman. Obviously a rare breed...
On Malaysian cricket, Tunku Imran in the interview talked about MCA's suspension and how initially it depended on individual donations to sustain its activities. He also spoke about their attempt to bring professionalism into the management of MCA plus how the funds from ICC and ACC assisted in increasing the level of MCA's activities. One of their biggest hurdle, is the need to prove to the public and government that cricket is very much part of Malaysian sporting structure. This, he believes, is the key to the very future of cricket in Malaysia.
It would seem Tunku Imran spoke from his heart and he still dreams that one day the country can be in the world stage. He talks of how affiliates follow the political structure similar to the concept of states forming a Federation and as such the affiliates have their own autonomy. This in a way has let the states to organise their own leagues and tournaments, which in some cases may or may not happen. A price one pays for the concept of decentralisation.
Tunku Imran did cover other areas for e.g the lack of Malaysian Chinese in cricket, facilities, organisational skills and other interesting topics. I do recommend cricket lovers to visit the ACC's website and you would have an insight of Tunku Imran.
I take this opportunity on behalf of all cricket lovers to congratulate Tunku Imran on being honoured by ICC with the Lifetime Service Achievement Award.