In a landmark move, Malaysia has announced 12-month contracts for fifteen national women cricketers. Players will be paid allowances according to the ‘Grade’ in which they are categorised, and will also have access to medical insurance, welfare support, and education funds.
Players awarded contracts include longstanding captain Winifred Anne Duraisingam, Mas Elysa, who broke the world record for the best bowling figures (6/3 in 4 overs) in a T20I against China in 2019, and talented Malaysian-Australian teenager, Elsa Hunter.
Speaking about the announcement, MCA President Mahinda Vallipuram said ‘Malaysian Cricket has always prioritised women’s cricket and I know that these contracts will serve as a long term sustainable means and act as morale booster for our women. Contracts such as these often translates as a push factor for the rest of the team to work harder so as to be a recipient of a contract from MCA and this will further improve the ICC rankings’
Captain Duraisingam expressed her gratitude for the support, and highlighted it’s motivating potential. ‘I am grateful to receive this contract. In return, it makes me want to uphold professionalism at all times and give my all to the game. Here on, there will be no time to relax. We, as a team need to be the best we can be.’
The Malaysian women’s cricket team is preparing for the possibility of a place in the Commonwealth Games Qualifier, ahead of the 2022 Birmingham games.
Malaysia has long been at the fore front of innovative initiatives within the Associate world to grow and develop the sport. Eight women, including Duraisingam and Elysa participated in the men’s MCA T20 Super Series 2020. Late last year, the MCA also announced a $1.12 million multi-year sponsorship deal with Yayasan Sime Darby to develop women’s and grassroots programs further.
The full list of national women cricketers awarded contracts is: Winifred Anne Duraisingam, Mas Elysa Yasmin Zulkifli, Ainna Hamizah Hashim, Arianna Natasya Ben Rakquidean, Yusrina Yaakop, Nik Nur Atiela Nik Din, Intan Jamahidayu Jaafar, Mahirah Izzati Binti Ismail, Noor Hayati Binti Zakaria, Wan Julia Binti Wan Mohd Rosli, Nur Nabila Binti Muhd Nazeli, Elsa Hunter, Aisya Eleesa Firdauz, Nurilyaa Natashya Mohamad Asri, Amalin Sorfina Abu Jim.
Read the full announcement on the MCA website here.
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