Former Australia international Trevor Chappell returns as coach of Singapore during the Pepsi ICC World Cricket League Division 5.
Chappell previously coached the side in 2009 when it was promoted into WCL Div. 5 and he is keen to see that the side is promoted once again.
Chappell spoke about his return to coaching the Asian side and the team’s preparation ahead of the tournament that begins on 18 February.
You’ve returned to coach the Singapore side after a brief stint away from the team after your success in 2009. What have you been doing in the interim period?
I have been coaching at the King’s School in Parramatta, west of Sydney. I have been doing that since 2003, they have given me February off from the Australia season to be with the Singapore team.
Is it good to be back in Singapore – what do you enjoy about the side and the country?
It is good to be back in Singapore and renew old friendships. The Singapore squad is a talented group of cricketers keen to do well in the WCL Div. 5 tournament. The players are easy to work with and Singapore itself is an easy place to live.
How has the side been preparing for WCL Div. 5?
The main preparation has been a ten day tour to Bangalore in India where we played a series of games against the Karnataka State Cricket Association under-25 side.
This was very good preparation for the upcoming tournament. Since returning from India we have had two practice games amongst Singapore players and continued normal weekly practice sessions.
The side missed out on promotion in Division 5 last time around, will the home advantage this time work in your favour?
I think playing at home will be an advantage to Singapore, mainly because of the weather conditions which will be more demanding than what all opposition teams except Malaysia are accustomed to playing in.
What do you know about the opposition teams you will be facing?
I know a little about Malaysia, Bahrain and Guernsey having played them in 2009. Those three sides are all very strong opposition. Cayman Islands and Argentina I know less about but I am sure they will also prove strong opposition.
I am not expecting any easy games in this tournament. The two sides that gain promotion will need to play a very good and consistent week of cricket.
Who are the key players for the Singapore side?
The Singapore squad is very strong, competition is fierce amongst the 14 players for a spot in the playing XI. Singapore has batting depth and a variety of bowling options.
Exciting players to watch out for in this tournament are Chetan Suryawanshi and Chaminda Ruwan when Singapore bat, and captain, Saad Khan Junjua with either a bat or ball in his hand.