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Kinrara Academy Oval, Malaysia's premier cricket ground, will host its last games this June as Malaysia Cricket (MC)'s agreement with the landowners runs down after 18 years. Over the past few years, the two parties had disputes over tariffs and the matter went to court, with the ruling earlier this year in favour of the landowners.
MC said in a statement that the outstanding payments had been made, and an "amicable settlement" had been arrived at ahead of the ground's curtain call.
To sign off, the ground will host the ICC Under-19 Women's Asia Qualifiers - a pathway tournament to the inaugural Women's U-19 World Cup - from June 1 to 10, and then the Asian Cricket Council's Women's T20 Asia Cup from June 15 to 25. In between the two international events, MC's domestic members have been invited to play a T10 Curtain Call Championship Masters from June 10 to 12. MC will vacate Kinrara on June 30.
"We are pleased to announce that Malaysian Cricket has reached an amicable settlement with Perumahan Kinrara Berhad. By the settlement, Malaysian Cricket has fulfilled its obligation to pay Perumahan Kinrara Berhad," MC's statement, signed by president Mohammed Iqbal Ali Kassim Ali, read.
"We place on record that Malaysian Cricket is truly grateful to the Kinrara Landowners for affording us this property the past eighteen years, giving us the ability to work the ground, bringing it to that of an international standard. At present, Kinrara Oval is one of two grounds with ODI status in South East Asia. The other ground being Bayuemas Oval.
"Kinrara Oval has played host to numerous international and national tournaments - majestic and Iconic, it was 'Home of Malaysian Cricket'. Given the history and legacy tied to cricket at Kinrara Oval, sentiments are strong and the reason for which the cricket fraternity had hoped to stay on. Nonetheless, we bow out gracefully, with gratitude, taking with us some of the best cricket memories."
Kinrara Academy Oval came together in 2003 with a team from New Zealand working on the turf and square, and the BCCI contributing USD 465,000 towards the floodlights. Since then, the ground has hosted ten men's ODIs, 18 men's T20Is, six Women's ODIs, 25 Women's T20Is and 25 youth ODIs.
Some of the highest-profile games here came in the ground's early years: a men's tri-series in September 2006 featuring West Indies, Australia and India, in which Sachin Tendulkar topped the runs charts with 222 runs at 74, including an unbeaten 141. Then, in March 2008, Virat Kohli's India Under-19 team won the World Cup at Kinrara.
MC's statement said the board will now "utilise YSD-UKM Oval - the ground at University Kebangsaan Malaysia - Selangor Turf Club, and Kolej Tuanku Ja'afar (KTJ), albeit work is needed to [elevate] the standard of the grounds. Moving forward, we are confident of finding a permanent ground to call our own".
An earlier statement from MC, from March 31 this year, had said of its dispute with the landowners: "Our position was that as a non-profit organisation and the national sporting association, with Kinrara Oval as the home of cricket in Malaysia, we strongly believe that the Majlis Bandaraya Subang Jaya (MBSJ) tariff for assessment should have been based on sports and recreation instead of commercial rate.
"It was for this reason we had disputed the tariff and were taken to court, on which the judgement came against us."