Wed12132017

LAST_UPDATEWed, 13 Dec 2017 2pm

Winnie Confident Of Leading Malaysia To Women's Cricket Gold Medal

KUALA LUMPUR, July 28 – From playing cricket in the streets at the tender age of nine, Winifred Anne Duraisingam is on the verge of leading the Malaysian women’s to Kuala Lumpur SEA Games.

The 24-year-old Selangor born has the charisma and leadership qualities to lead the T20 women’s squad when cricket is contested for a first time in the SEA Games at Kinrara Ovals from Aug 17-29.

After playing with her brothers and a small group of friends in the streets, she later learned the right way of play and rules of cricket with her uncle, who was a cricket enthusiast.

“At one point, the boys did not let me play, that’s where my uncle come in for rescue. He taught me a lot of things. I learned proper way of bowling from him, until I become opening bowler for Malaysia.

“Eleven years passed, I am still opening the bowling for Malaysia. But now, I have become an all-rounder, which means I can also bat and being in top order. I am proud  to be where I am,” she told Bernama at the Malaysian T20 Women Quadrangular Series 2017 at Kelab Aman Oval here, today.

Besides the 11 years of experience playing for the country, the Bachelor of Education in Sports and Recreations third year  student at the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), took the initiative  to  get indepth knowledge of the game in Sri Lanka and Australia.

While waiting for her Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) results in 2010, the 17-year-old was brave enough to go for a month training stint and playing opportunity in the girl’s series in the country alone.

The right-arm medium bowler later led Malaysia to the joint ninth place finish with host South Korea at the 2014 Incheon Asian Games, her first major tournament as national team skipper, before another six month playing stint with Kensington District Cricket Club in the South Australian Cricket Association League.

“Oversea training is very important because we can get a lot of experiences and exposure by going out of our comfort zone. I had chance to see and play with few Australian national players and learned from them.

“I always shares my experiences with my teammates so that we be successful as a team. I wanted to bring together some of the girls with me if I get opportunity to go for training at other countries.

“After the Asian Games, we found out that we were not in the same level with the best in Asia, but we learned a lot. Now after one year of training, we are confident of making history by winning the first SEA Games gold medal on home soil.”

However, one major threat to the girls golden dream would be Thailand, to whom they lost to once in the ongoing Quadrangular Series, which is also known as Pre-SEA Games tournament.

After four defeats, the one against the Thais, one against Tanzania and twice to  Sri Lankan Army teams, the national squad finally broke the jinx by beating Tanzania with nine wickets today.

Coach Thushara Kodikara is confident that the team could bounce back in time to win the elusive SEA Games gold, sidelining four other countries, Myanmar, Indonesia, Singapore and Vietnam.

“We will focus on batting, because we need runs to defeat other teams. Thailand is our main contender for the gold, but I am confident we can overcome their challenge if we stay focused,” he said.

Profile:

Full name: Winifred Anne Duraisingam

Nickname: Winnie

DOB: April 6, 1993

State: Selangor

Position: all rounder

Batting style: right hand

Bowling style: right-arm medium

Idol/favourite batsman: Kumar Sangakkara of Sri Lanka

Favourite bowler: Brett Lee of Australia

Dream: to play in ICC World Cup.

-- BERNAMA