The Kinrara Oval, a cricket stadium in Malaysia, was saved from closure on Friday after the government blocked an attempt by the property company that owns the ground to push out the Malaysian Cricket Association’s lease. The stadium was famously the scene of Sachin Tendulkar’s unbeaten 141 in an ODI match against the West Indies in 2006.
The Kinrara Oval was built in 2003 and has hosted ODI matches featuring India, Australia and the West Indies. It also hosted matches from the 2008 U-19 World Cup which was won by India and acted as a launch pad for the team’s captain Virat Kohli.
The stadium sits on sits on a plot of prime land west of the capital Kuala Lumpur. The Malaysian Cricket Association’s lease expired in October 2018 and the property company that owns the land ordered them out of the ground to make way for a new development.
The International Cricket Council had, in October, thrown its weight behind efforts made by the cricket association to build support. “Cricket in Malaysia is flourishing with the number of players in all age groups growing… and we are hopeful a sustainable solution can be found,” David Richardson, then ICC chief executive, said in a statement. “The ICC will continue to support Malaysia Cricket and hopes the Kinrara Oval will remain an international cricket venue.”
The Malaysian government is committed to saving this historical cricket ground.
Cabinet decided that saving the cricket ground is more important than commercial development. https://t.co/syd6BU46MU
— Syed Saddiq (@SyedSaddiq) 15 February 2019
— Kamles Kumar (@Kama7esh) 15 February 2019
After several months of uncertainty, the ground’s future is now secure with the country’s cabinet agreeing that it should continue operating as a cricket stadium, said Sports Minister Syed Saddiq.
“The Malaysian government is committed to saving this… cricket ground,” he said on Twitter. “Cabinet decided that saving the cricket ground is more important than commercial development.” The final terms of a deal will be hammered out in a meeting between the sports ministry, developer Perumahan Kinrara Berhad, and the cricket association, the ministry said.