Singapore play Sri Lanka for WC warm-up

Singapore’s indoor cricketers face the challenge of an all-star squad from Sri Lanka as they prepare for September’s World Cup in Dubai.

National teams, in the Open, Masters and Under-21 categories, will play a series of six friendly matches against their Sri Lankan counterparts, made up of internationals, from tomorrow till Sunday at the Indoor Premier Cricket Centre at Turf City.

There is no age restriction for Open players, while only those above 35 can feature in the Masters category.

“It is very important for Singapore to get onto the world map,” said Muralidharan G., who is the Singapore Cricket Association’s coordinator for indoor cricket.

The 52-year-old added: “Hosting an international series for the first time here gives the opportunity for our players to get exposed to a higher standard of the game.”

Singapore finished last at the six-team World Masters in Birmingham, England, last year. The national Open team were also sixth at the World Cup in Wellington, New Zealand, in 2014.

Sri Lanka are the top team in Asia and considered the fifth-best team in the world.

“This series with Sri Lanka will help our teams tremendously as we gear up for the World Cup,” said Rashid Ahmed Khan, 41, coach of the national Open team.

“I’m confident our players will put up a good show against the vastly experienced Sri Lankans.”

The national women’s team is also likely to play at the World Cup.

Indoor cricket is physical, fast-paced and furious – a typical 16 overs-a-side game is played over 90 minutes – where every player gets to bat, bowl and field. Eight players form a side and the sport can be played in rain or shine.

Singapore, a member of the World Indoor Cricket Federation, has some 400 indoor cricketers. The sport is catching on at community centres and schools and is attracting recreational cricketers. (Courtesy Straits Times)