The inaugural Malaysian Super Women League begins on Sunday at the Kinrara Oval with a host of foreign names joining local players in a bid to raise the standard of women’s cricket in the country.
A total of 25 players from Australia, Indonesia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand and Vanuatu have been invited to play alongside 27 Malaysians in the four-team Twenty20 league.
The four teams – Central Super Girls, Eastern Lioness, Northern Queens and Southern Jaguars – will play a round-robin league before concluding the tournament with a final and a third-fourth place playoff on Thursday, January 2, 2020.
The tournament is organised by the Malaysian Cricket Association (MCA) to provide elite-level competition for national women players to impress selectors ahead of several international assignments in 2020.
“We are still in our infancy but this tournament is a step forward for Malaysian women’s cricket as we move beyond the region to Australia and Vanuatu,” said MCA president Mahinda Vallipuram at the Kinrara Oval on Saturday during the tournament’s launch.
“This tournament is intended to provide high-performance competition and opposition for the top players in the country while giving younger players the opportunity to spar against higher-level players.”
Mahinda said the response to the tournament has been very encouraging with the MCA considering expansion in future editions.
“We will hold this tournament annually but we have decided to start with four teams and may eventually grow to include eight teams in the future,” he said. “We want to make this a premium event not only in this region but beyond and give opportunities to women to play on an equal footing.”
Malaysia’s national team captain Winifred Duraisingam will lead the Northern Queens and hopes her national teammates will benefit from playing in the tournament.
“This tournament will be a good opportunity for us to learn from the players from the other countries and for them to learn from us,” said Winifred. “I hope everyone will have an enjoyable outing and get good exposure and valuable experience.”
Southern Jaguars captain G. K. Diviya said the tournament, the first of its’ kind for women in Southeast Asia, is the perfect platform to grow women’s cricket in the region.
“It’s the first of its kind in Southeast Asia and a great platform to show what we can do and where to improve,” said Singapore captain Diviya. “I want to thank Malaysian Cricket for taking the lead and hope that others will follow so that we can have an opportunity to showcase our talent.”
For Eastern Lioness captain Samantha Arnold, the tournament is a unique opportunity for her to play in Malaysian conditions.
“I’m very excited to be here and to learn and mingle with the others,” said Arnold. “We play a different brand of cricket in Australia so to learn the different bowling styles and the type of wickets here will be interesting. I’m really looking forward to being part of the first ones here.”
Malaysia’s Mas Elysa Yasmin Zulkifli, who held the women’s T20I world record bowling figures of six wickets for three runs which she set on Jan 16 against China before Nepal’s Anjali Chand snatched that record away by returning six for none against Maldives on Dec 7, will lead the Central Super Girls.
“At first I did not think much about the record when it fell but then later I felt a little bit of sadness that it was gone but then all records are meant to be broken,” said Mas Elysa, who described her fellow competitors as “Super Women”. “Now I’m focused on this tournament and I’m excited to get a chance to share knowledge with the other super women.”
Mas Elysa is not the only player at the tournament who had her name etched into the cricket history books as Indonesians Yulia Anggraeni and Winda Prastini arrived in Kuala Lumpur after setting a world record partnership of 257 runs for a women’s T20I in the Philippines on Dec 21.
The pair combined for 132 deliveries to guide Indonesia to 260 for one in 20 overs, the third-highest total in women’s T20I, against the Philippines as Yulia scored 112 while Winda ended unbeaten on 89 after hitting 32 boundaries between them.
Yulia and Winda’s record eclipsed the unbroken partnership of 236 between Nigar Sultana and Fargana Hoque of Bangladesh set just two weeks earlier on Dec 5 against Maldives. Yulia will play for Southern Jaguars and Winda for Northern Queens.
Six players from Thailand will also be competing though they come from their national back-up squad as their first-team members are in a training camp ahead of Thailand’s first appearance at the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup next February.
Entrance to all matches at the Kinrara Oval is free. The matches will also be streamed live through the Malaysia Cricket Youtube channel.
Central Super Girls
Mas Elysa Yasmin Zulkifli (capt), Noor Hayati Zakaria, Wan Julia Wan Rosdi, Nur Aliah Asyqin Jamaluddin, Dhanusri Sri Muhunan, Amalin Sorfina Abu Jimi, P. B. Swetha, Elsa Hunter (all Malaysia), Lin Lin Htun, Theint Theint Soe (Myanmar), Rosenanee Kanoh (Thailand), Ni Made Putri Suwandewi (Indonesia), Nasimana Navaika (Vanuatu)
Samantha Arnold (Australia, capt), Nur Nadhirah Nasaruddin, Intan Jamahidayu Jaafar, Fatin Nur Sherie Shazleen Abd Halim, Nur Iman Qisra Yazid, Aisya Eleesa Erni Firdauz, Noor Hatikah Razali, Yusrina Yaakop (all Malaysia), Edenyce Eduard Krismartini (Indonesia), Shafina Mahesh (Singapore), Sunida Chaturongrattana (Thailand), Vishy Deobhanker, Alana Ryan (both Australia)
Winifred Duraisingam (capt), Mahirah Izzati Ismail, Nik Nur Atiela Nik Din, Nur Nabila Nazeli, Nandita Sharma, Aina Najwa Abdul Rahman, Izyan Nafisah Norazmi (all Malaysia), Khin Min Myat (Myanmar), Adelaide Campion, Delana Kodikara (both Australia), Manatsawee Jatho, Thipatcha Putthawong (both Thailand), Kadek Winda Prastini (Indonesia),
G. K. Diviya (Singapore, capt), Ainna Hamizah Hashim, Nur Asmawati Mohd Noor, Arianna Natasya Benn Rakquidean, Illisa Preston, Ainur Amelina Ridhwan, Farah Farhana Zainuddin (all Malaysia), Zin Tharaphy Kyaw (Myanmar), Yulia Anggraeni (Indonesia), Suwanan Khiaoto, Phannita Maya (both Thailand), Selina Solman, Valenta Langiatu (both Vanuatu)
Northern Queens v Eastern Lioness (9am)
Southern Jaguars v Central Super Girls (12.45pm)
Central Super Girls v Northern Queens (9am)
Eastern Lioness v Southern Jaguars (12.45pm)
Northern Queens v Southern Jaguars (9am)
Eastern Lioness v Central Super Girls (12.45pm)
Semi-finals (9am and 12.45pm)
3rd-4th placing (9am)
All matches at Kinrara Oval. Entrance is free.