Cricketers eye promotion to Div 2

The national team face a huge task when they compete in the week-long World Cricket League Division 3, which starts in Malaysia tomorrow.

They will be tested against the likes of Nepal, the United States, Bermuda and Uganda, who have played at a higher level before.

Singapore have encountered Nepal, the US and Malaysia in the recent past, losing to the first two and producing mixed results against their Causeway neighbours. Uganda and Bermuda are unknown entities.

Nevertheless, having progressed from Division 5 to 3 over the past three years, the national team are confident of putting on another good show.

Only the top two teams among the six nations qualify for Division 2, which is two tiers below Test level.

"It's going to be tough," admitted captain Saad Khan Janjua. "But we have done our best to prepare ourselves properly. We have the skills. It is a matter of applying ourselves on match day as the other teams are beatable."

The side has been infused with steel by coach Mansoor Rana, 51, who guided Pakistan to the U-19 world title in 2006.

The former Pakistan international has spent the past two months sharpening the mental and technical abilities of the Singapore players.

"Individually they are all highly talented," he said. "As they are part-timers, it would have been ideal if they had played more practice matches together. My emphasis has been to make them experience different match scenarios."

Singapore are boosted by the return of prolific scorer Anish Paraam from a back injury.

They have seasoned batsmen in Chaminda Ruwan, Chetan Suryawanshi and Kshitij Shinde and penetrative bowlers in Amjad Mahboob, Shoib Razak, Dharmichand Mulewa and Abhiraj Singh.

The all-round qualities of Saad, Paraam and Christopher Janik will also be handy.

Event details

What: WCL Division 3

Where: In Malaysia

When: From Oct 23 to 30

How: Bermuda, Nepal, Singapore, Uganda, the United States and hosts Malaysia will lock horns in the eight-day round-robin 50-overs-a-side tournament to earn a top two finish and gain promotion to WCL Division 2, which will be played in Namibia from Jan 17 next year.

Singapore squad:

Saad Khan Janjua (captain), Shoib Razak, Suresh Appusamy, Rezza Gaznavi, Christopher Janik, Amjad Mahboob, Dharmichand Mulewa, Arjun Mutreja, Anish Paraam, Chaminda Ruwan, Vijay Kumar Selladore, Kshitij Shinde, Abhiraj Singh and Chetan Suryawanshi.

Singapore's fixtures:

Tomorrow - v Malaysia (Selangor Turf Club)

Friday - v Uganda (Kinrara)

Sunday - v Nepal (Bayeumas)

Monday - v Bermuda (Selangor Turf Club)

Oct 29 - v United States (Kinrara)

Oct 30 - Final (Kinrara),

3rd v 4th play-off (Bayeumas), 5th v 6th play-off (Selangor Turf Club)

This article was first published on Oct 22, 2014.
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