Cricket: Singapore rise to world top 20 in T20 rankings

The outing in Bangkok saw Singapore's senior cricketers reach their highest International Cricket Council T20 world ranking of No. 20 since starting close to No. 70 about 20 years ago.
The outing in Bangkok saw Singapore's senior cricketers reach their highest International Cricket Council T20 world ranking of No. 20 since starting close to No. 70 about 20 years ago.PHOTO: SINGAPORE CRICKET ASSOCIATION

Singapore's senior cricketers continued their ascendancy by emerging champions in the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) eastern region tournament that ended on Friday.

The outing in Bangkok saw them reach their highest International Cricket Council (ICC) T20 world ranking of No. 20 since starting close to No. 70 about 20 years ago.

Wins over Thailand, Malaysia and Hong Kong sealed top spot in the five-team contest. The inconsequential last match against Nepal was abandoned owing to rain.

Hong Kong finished second to accompany Singapore to a round-robin tournament in Malaysia in August, when they will play the western region's United Arab Emirates and Kuwait for a spot at the Asia Cup alongside giants India, hosts Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.

"This was a total professional outing for Singapore,'' said Singapore Cricket Association (SCA) chief executive Saad Khan Janjua.

"From the approach to the playing arena, the boys were one solid unit and fought every inch of the way. There is every reason to be truly proud of this team."

Singapore prepared for the event by hosting a team handpicked from Pakistan. SCA president Mahmood Gaznavi said: "In the past, we sent our players abroad. But we found that inviting appropriate players who could test our weaknesses would be a better option."

The team also appointed top coach Dav Whatmore and strength and conditioning expert Rajesh Chauhan to help with preparations.

Singapore cricket has celebrated a number of recent highs.

The 2017 SEA Games T20 gold medallists beat world No. 11 Nepal en route to winning the Asian regional final. They earned a place in the T20 World Cup qualifiers in Dubai last October, when they beat No. 12 Scotland and Bermuda.

In the same month, they beat a Test-playing, ICC full member country for the first time - Zimbabwe, then world No. 15, in the Singapore Tri Nations series.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on March 08, 2020, with the headline 'Singapore rise to world top 20 in T20 rankings'. Print Edition | Subscribe