Malaysia ready to host ACC women’s tournament

Johor, July 10:

The Malaysian city of Johor is all geared up to host the ACC Women’s Tournament, which begins on Wednesday with eight countries including the hosts participating.

The week-long event will see sides playing 30-over matches at the Johor Cricket Academy in Mutiara Rini in Skudai and the Temengong Ibrahim Teachers’ College.

The squads have already embarked on what, for many, will be their first tournament at this level. The UAE team left for Malaysia on Sunday. Smitha Harikrishna, the former India player and current UAE coach, said, “There is a bit of pressure as it is the team’s maiden appearance in an international event. However, the players are confident and they can gain a lot from this experience.”

The team captain is 13-year-old Natasha Michael. “The selectors picked the team with an eye for the future”, Harikrishna said about her. “Natasha is the most experienced among the youngsters. She has an excellent brain and has toughened herself by playing with boys. We are confident she can guide the team.”

The Nepal team left on Sunday night, with Nary Thapa, the captain, excited about the side’s first international cricket event. LB Chhetri, the team’s manager and a former men’s national team captain, sounded confident as well.

Bangladesh and Thailand have already begun their preparations. Hong Kong, China and Singapore are the other teams taking part in the tournament.

Aziz Kaprawi, Johor state youth and sports executive councillor, said Johor was “proud to host the first international women’s cricket tournament in Asia” and said the tournament would give a boost to tourism.