Sri Lankan takes charge of Malaysian cricket team

The Malaysian national team will have Sri Lankan Sampath Perera guiding them during the World Cricket League Division Four tournament in April and May.

The Malaysian Cricket Association (MCA) have put Perera, 43, in charge on an interim basis before evaluating his case for a permanent role after the six-team tournament to be held in the Klang Valley.

Perera, appointed after the contract of Bilal Asad ended in December, is currently with the national team on their tour of Sri Lanka, where they are playing seven matches in three weeks.

“He has 20 years experience of coaching and has great potential in becoming a senior coach,” said MCA general manager for cricket operations Dinesh Muthuraman.

“He hopes to make Malaysia a first step in that direction but we need to see how he handles the team at the Division Four tournament before offering him a longer contract.”

Perera has a reputation for developing young players and is credited with discovering the talent of Niroshan Dickwella, Sri Lanka’s emerging cricketer of the year award winner, at Trinity College.

Now attached to St Anthony’s College, Perera will arrive in Malaysia with the team following their Sri Lanka tour.

A string of preparation matches have been lined up for the national team including the annual Stan Nagaiah Trophy against Singapore, a limited-overs series against Hong Kong featuring five one-day matches and two Twenty20 games and matches against the visiting Sri Lankan Army side.

Malaysia will play Uganda, Denmark, Bermuda, Jersey and Vanuatu in the Division Four tournament on Apr 28-May 5 in a bid to win promotion to Division Three. (Courtesy New Straits Times)