Our national sportsmen have been among some of the biggest sources of pride for us Malaysians, given the amount of hard work and dedication that they put into competing on behalf of the country on the world stage. And yet, concerns are still being raised over the treatment that they receive, whether from the government, their own team management, or fans alike.
M’sian cricket player gets removed from national team WhatsApp group without warning
On Tuesday (September 27th, 2022), Malaysian cricket player Harinder Sekhon took to his official Facebook account to recount how he was removed without any warning from the national team’s official WhatsApp group after scheduling conflicts had arisen between his day job and his training regimen. Understandably, he was left shocked and lamented the lack of communication and mediation between the team’s management and himself before they made the decision to do so.
“I’m juggling work (full time teacher) and playing cricket as well as in the process of breaking another jumping world record.
Within minutes of giving my unavailability for the training tomorrow I get removed by the coach,” he wrote.
Other problems allegedly plague the M’sian national team
Given his circumstances and multiple commitments, Harinder had previously attempted to raise the matter to his coach when he was first removed from the WhatsApp group, to which the man claims to have overlooked his message before adding him back in without any explanation. He was then subsequently removed again for a second time, and has yet to be added back in as of writing.
“Others (players) are also working, studying, etc but remain in the group after putting their unavailability.” he points out.
And despite the number of possible avenues that his team’s management could have considered to allow him to train while still balancing his other commitments, such as allowing him to come in at a later slot or to train on a 1-to-1 basis, Harinder said none of the options ever came into fruition. This is alongside allegations of favouritism and bias within the national cricket team itself, with certain players being picked over others in selection matches for better opportunities.
As an example, Harinder mentions how a few months back ahead of a tour of Canada, he was not given a single chance to bat for the Malaysian team despite the fact that he was available for all three selection matches.
“No reason has still been given to me about this still to this day. The coach says he will meet/talk with me after the tournament but nothing has happened.”
The Malaysian Cricket Association has been made aware of the matter
He has since escalated the matter to the President of the Malaysia Cricket Association (MCA), in hopes of a potential resolution. In speaking with WauPost, Harinder shares that he was first selected to join the Malaysian national cricket team in 2016, and made his debut during a match against Singapore in the same year. He has been an avid cricketeer since he was 12-years-old.
While his passion for the sport remains undivided, he admits that the problems he has faced due to the system have been both physically and mentally draining. And until he is added back into the Malaysian team’s WhatsApp group, he will not be able to continue his training as he will not be kept updated on when the training sessions, meetings, or matches will take place.