Cricket, the Brilliant Game!

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In the International Spotlight…Singapore Cricket

Posted by wildkiwi25 on December 4, 2008


The Singapore national cricket team is the team that represents the country of Singapore in international cricket matches. They have been an associate member of the International Cricket Council (ICC) since 1974 and have played in every edition of the ICC World Cup Qualifier (formerly the ICC Trophy) to date with the exception of the 1986 and 2005 tournaments. They have also ruled themselves out of qualification for the 2009 ICC World Cup Qualifier after finishing fifth in Division Five of the World Cricket League in 2008.

They also have played in each edition of the ACC Trophy and its predecessor the South East Asian Tournament. They play annually against Malaysia in the Saudara Cup three-day match and the Stan Nagaiah Trophy one-day series and between 1991 and 2004 played Malaysia, Hong Kong and Thailand in the Tuanku Ja’afar Cup.


Beginnings of cricket in Singapore:
The first recorded mention of cricket in Singapore was in 1837 when a “Mr Z” complained, in a letter to the Singapore Free Press, of cricket being played near a church on a Sunday in violation of the Sabbath. This resulted in cricket being banned on Sundays, a prohibition that remained in place until the 1930s.

Cricket was an important recreational activity, with matches often played against the officers of visiting ships. The Singapore Cricket Club was formed in 1852 and played its first match amongst themselves the same year. The quality of cricket in these early years was quite poor, and it wasn’t until 1865 before a team total of more than 100 was scored. Louis Glass became the first person in Singapore to record a century two years later.

The Singapore Cricket Club eventually began to play against teams from other parts of British Malaya such as Penang, Perak and Kuala Lumpur and this eventually led to an invitation from Hong Kong to send a team there, which saw the beginning of the long running series of “Interport Matches”.
Singapore team:
(First matches)
The Singapore team did play twice during the Straits Settlements team era, playing twice against WAS Oldfield’s XI in 1927, losing both matches by an innings. They next played in 1957, drawing at home to Ceylon. Various teams visited Singapore in the 1960s, including Worcestershire.

The Interport Matches resumed in 1968 with Singapore drawing against Hong Kong. These matches were played occasionally until 1987. In 1970, the Saudara Cup match against Malaysia was played for the first time, this continues annually to the present day. Also that year, Singapore played an MCC side captain by Tony Lewis and featuring Geoff Boycott. The match was won by the MCC.

ICC membership:
Singapore became an associate member of the ICC in 1974 and three years later won the Saudara Cup for the first time. In 1978, Singapore played India at home, the match ending in a draw. Singapore took part in the first ICC Trophy in England in 1979 but could only finish fourth in their first round group after only beating Argentina. They finished fourth out of eight teams in their first round group in the 1982 tournament and withdrew from the 1986 tournament when several of their players couldn’t get leave from work.

Singapore played in the South East Asian Tournament for the first time in 1984, playing in the event again in 1988 and 1992 (when they hosted), though they never reached the final as Bangladesh and Hong Kong finished first and second on each occasion. The final Interport Match took place in Singapore in 1987, with Hong Kong beating the home side. They returned to the ICC Trophy for the 1990 tournament in the Netherlands, beating Malaysia and Israel during the event, and failing to progress past the first round.

Singapore began playing in the Tuanku Ja’afar Cup in 1991, an annual tournament against Malaysia, Hong Kong and Thailand. They won the event just once, in 1994, a year in which they finished 19th out of 20 teams in the ICC Trophy. The Stan Nagaiah Trophy, an annual three match series of one-day matches against Malaysia, began the following year. Singapore played in the first ACC Trophy in 1996, beating the Maldives and Thailand but failing to go past the first round. They finished 14th in the 1997 ICC Trophy and could only beat Papua New Guinea in the 1998 ACC Trophy, again failing to go past the first round.

21st century:
The first two major tournaments of the 21st century for Singapore got them off to a bad start as they lost all their first round matches in both the 2000 ACC Trophy in the UAE and the 2001 ICC Trophy in Ontario, their final ICC Trophy to date. They hosted the ACC Trophy in 2002, beating the Maldives and Thailand (by 325 runs) but again failing to progress beyond the first round, a performance they repeated in 2004. The finished fourth in the ACC Fast Track Nations Tournament in 2004 and 2005.

Singapore began to show an improvement in their form in 2006. That year they finished third in the ACC Premier League and finally passed the first round stage in the ACC Trophy, finishing fifth to qualify for Division Five of the World Cricket League in 2008. They didn’t progress beyond the first round of the 2007 ACC Twenty20 Cup, beating only Hong Kong and Saudi Arabia, but captain Chaminda Ruwan did make the highest score of the tournament. In the World Cricket League Division Five tournament in Jersey, Singapore finished fifth after beating Botswana in a play-off, though they did beat Afghanistan during the first round, who went on to win the tournament.


ICC Trophy:

  • Highest team total: 231/6 v Gibraltar, 25 February 1994 at Ruaraka Sports Club Ground, Nairobi
  • Highest individual score: 77 by Joshua Dearing v Canada, 28 June 2001 at Toronto Cricket, Skating and Curling Club
  • Best innings bowling: 5/39 by M. Rajalingam v Fiji, 5 July 1982 at Solihull Cricket Club Ground

  • Highest team total: 440/2 v Thailand, 16 July 2002 at Kallang Ground, Singapore
  • Highest individual score: 191 by K Mendis v Thailand, 16 July 2002 at Kallang Ground, Singapore
  • Best innings bowling: 8/8 by Mahesh Mehta v Malaysia, 14 September 1979 at The Padang, Malaysia

    Links to more information on Singapore Cricket:
  • Singapore Cricket Association
  • Singapore Cricket Club
  • Cricinfo Blog on Singapore Cricket
  • Singapore Cricket Timeline


    *Acknowledgements to and owners of pictures and videos used.

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