“A batsman can sometimes score a “duck” however good he may be... a bowler cannot always be expected to take wickets... but there is no place for sloppy fielding”.
The late Lall Singh
“Malaysian Greatest Cricketer”
Year Inducted: 2004
LALL SINGH or Lallie to his friends is arguably the greatest cricketer Malaysia has produced. To date he remains the only Malaysian to have played international Test cricket.
Born in Rawang, Selangor in 1909, Lall Singh was a natural sportsman and played hockey, soccer and tennis for the Victoria Institution. But cricket was his first love. At 15 years of age he was selected to play for Selangor and a year later for the Federated Malay States.
His consistent good performances for Selangor and the FMS, his showing against McCartney’s Australian Test team and his career best 131 in the 1931 FMS vs. Colonies match earned him an invitation to attend trials in India to pick a Test side. He was selected and in 1932 at the age of 22 he toured England and was in the first India side to play at Lords. At the end of the tour, Arthur Gillian an ex- England captain and authority on cricket, described Lall as the best fielder in the world and one of the game’s best 25 all-rounders. Wisdens had him as one of the best 5 cricketers for that year. Lallie had a huge following and a horticulturist produced a hybrid rose the exact shade of Lall’s favorite pink turban and exhibited it at Kew Gardens as Lall Singh Rose.
A new residential rule made him ineligible and England’s tour of India in 1933/4. However, he played against visiting Australia in their 1935 tour and averaged 50 runs in their 5 matches. For personal reasons, he declined selection for the 1936 tour of England and also declined to play Lancashire League cricket.
Back in Malaysia in 1939, he worked in Singapore and Sumatra during the Japanese occupation. After the war, Lallie went into business, and captained Singapore and the colonies.
In 1957, Lallie joined Central Electricity Board (later NEB and now TNB) as curator of the ground in Pantai Valley and captain of the Kilat team. The Kilat ground soon became one of the finest in the country and the Kilat team started recording Stoner Shield victories. He nurtured the Shepherdsons, Gurucharan, Ranjit and M S Maniam into becoming house-hold names in cricket. He captained Selangor and North many times and played competitively till 57 years of age. Lallie spent all his free time running clinics for schools and coaching youngsters.
Lallie’s exploits on the field, his soft-spoken manner and gentle radiance, endeared him to cricketers and non-criketers alike for over 50 years. He passed on in 1985 at the age of 75 having deeply etched his name in the annals of Malaysian cricket.
Best Score (Malaysia): 131 runs (FMS vs. Colonies)
Best Score (Abroad): 107 n.o. in 45 minutes (Hindus vs. Parsees)
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