IMG-20230420-WA0021aTeamSG Cricketeers bound for Cambodia 2023. Photo Credit : Singapore Cricket Association


Cambodia 2023 marks the return of Cricket to the Southeast Asian Games (SEAG) programme, after an absence of 6 years. It took more than a decade for the Cricket Federation of Cambodia (CFC) to push for the sport to be included among the 37 sporting disciplines which are to be contested at the 32nd SEA Games. This will be Cricket’s second inclusion at the SEAG, since 2017, where Singapore topped the T20 (men’s) format, Malaysia won the 50-overs (men’s) and Thailand bagged the T20 (women’s) crown in KL.

As for Team Singapore's upcoming campaign in Cambodia, ActiveSG Circle recently caught up with both Team Captains as well as the President of Singapore's Cricket Association, to get their thoughts ahead of the SEAG campaign.

GaznaviMahmood Gaznavi (President, Singapore Cricket Association). Photo Credit : Mahmood Gaznavi 


Mahmood Gaznavi (President, Singapore Cricket Association)

Q : How does Cricket’s return at the SEA Games, impact the community in Singapore?
Mahmood : Team Singapore's c
ricketeers won a gold and a silver in 2017 at the KL SEA Games. Regional events such as SEAG have a good following among the locals and cricket’s inclusion allows us to be in the public eye. Our successes in the larger arena – Asian Cricket Council and International Cricket Council stages -- must be reproduced in the SEA Games, because the event is visible to the public at large.

Q: What are your thoughts of the Men’s Team heading to Cambodia?
Mahmood : We play to win, that is for sure. But there are issues we must also appreciate. While our opponents have had the luxury of facilities and opportunities, our own story is quite different. Our teams have to cope with challenges in terms of control of training facilities and make-up of the variables that we wish to impose on the players to achieve high performances. We do not have a dedicated facility. And exposure to training conditions is not within our control given that we have no ground of our own. These are large challenges that become larger when you consider that other countries are training harder under conditions that allow them to give us stiff competition. We are hopeful, but cannot run away from the fact that impediments must be removed for our players to rise. I see the Cambodia outing as posing a stiff challenge for our cricketers.  

337870467_1243055843246691_6559188636209855416_nTeamSG's training session at Ceylon Sports Club. Photo Credit : Singapore Cricket Association


Q: How do you feel about the preparations of our Women’s Team for the coming SEA Games?
Mahmood : Our women have trained hard. They will once again be up against established teams. Thailand is by far a very good side. We can expect Indonesia and Malaysia to stand in the way of our women hoping to occupy the podium.

Q: What are you hoping to achieve from both teams at the 32nd SEA Games?
Mahmood : Winning medals is important. What is equally important is for the players to also hoist the national flag through their sportsmanship. We think it's important that players run their affairs in a fair and honest manner and dedicate victories to principles grounded in fair play. It is all too easy to get lost in your quest for the medal. But in this rush, my hope is that everyone will not lose sight of the fact that medal winning is actually secondary to good manners and fair play.

photo_2023-04-19 11.39.25Shafina Mahesh (Captain, Singapore's Women's Team). Photo Credit : Shafina Mahesh


Shafina Mahesh (Captain, Singapore's Women's Team)
Age : 24
No of Years in Team Singapore : 5
No of Years playing cricket : 7

Q : What does it mean for you and your team to be able to compete at the SEA Games for the 2nd time?
Shafina :
This time it’s much more special for me, as I’ll be leading the team. It means a lot to us as this time round, we are able to compete in 3 different formats which widen our goals for medals. We’ve been looking forward to it, ever since cricket was included at the Cambodia Games, almost 14 months ago. 

Q : How long have you been prepping for Cambodia 2023?
Shafina :
We’ve been prepping since last year as not only were we preparing for SEA Games but also a few other bi-laterals and competitions along the way. It’s not a sudden process for us as cricket has its season all year long.

Q : Who are your likely opponents in Cambodia?
Shafina :
As per the draw for the groupings recently, every other country will be our opponent. This is due to the different formats that we'll be playing. But 1 team that I'm looking forward to, will be the game against Thailand. The Thais sit in the top-15 in the world rankings, and I'm looking forward to see, how we perform in that particular game.

336497064_748464140245979_4005585280734367728_nTeam Singapore's Women's Squad. Photo Credit : Singapore Cricket Association


Q : What results would you be comfortable or satisfied with?
Shafina : 
Since there are 3 competition formats, as a team we will try our level best to achieve a medal for every format.

Q : What’s next after the SEA Games in Cambodia?
Shafina :
We will be having regular bilateral series with Malaysia and other countries to push our rankings up.

photo_2023-04-19 11.39.14Shafina Mahesh (Captain, Singapore's Women's Team). Photo Credit : Shafina Mahesh


Q : What is your Pre-Game ritual (if any)?
Shafina :
I need music during warm-ups, so we always have our speaker with us. And our manager will be playing our playlist that we make together.

Q : Do you have a favourite go-to song before the start of a match?
Shafina :
Always need to start with either I’m Good(Blue) or C’est La Vie (Khaled). Subsequently, songs will be on shuffle with the Spotify playlist we make as a team.

Q : Do you have a pre-match meal, snack or drink before a game?
Shafina : 
For breakfast on game days, a BIG breakfast. Eggs are a must on the plate with 2 bottles of water. During the innings break, peanut butter and jam sandwich is a must for refuel.

photo_2023-04-19 11.56.15Team Singapore's Women's Squad in Cambodia 2 months ago, at the SEA CGC Championships. Photo Credit : Shafina Mahesh


Q : Your favourite Cricketeer in the world and why?
Shafina : 
Jacques Kallis from South Africa. He is the epitome of what a true all-rounder means. I love watching his innings whenever he bowls and bat. I would say he is THE legend of them all!

Q : Do you have a favourite personal momento/souvenir from your time in playing cricket?  
Shafina : This has to be the 3 Man-of-the-Match Awards which I won 2 months ago in Cambodia, at the
SEA CGC Championships. I took home an award in the T10 and twice in the T20i respectively. To receive 3 accolades at an international tournament - that will stay in my heart always!

photo_2023-04-19 11.39.11Shafina clinched 3 Woman-of-the-Match Awards, with TeamSG's victorious run in Phnom Penh from February 8-12, 2023 - SEA CGC Championship. Photo Credit : Shafina Mahesh


Team Singapore's Men's Squad. Photo Credit : Singapore Cricket Association


Rezza Gaznavi (Captain, Singapore's Men's Team)
Age : 30
No of Years in Team Singapore : 8
No of Years playing cricket : 17

Q : What does it mean for you and your team to be able to feature at the SEA Games?
Rezza : This is actually the second time that I am playing in the SEA Games. In any case, we look forward to any opportunity to represent our nation. The SEA Games is a platform for us to compete and win medals. 

 Q : How long have you been prepping for Cambodia 2023?
 Rezza : We are training as if it's our debut appearance. We train after work/school at the Indian Association on weekdays and play games on weekends.
Rezza Gaznavi featured in the 2017 SEA Games in KL.. Photo Credit : Malaysian Cricket Association
Q : Who are your likely opponents in Cambodia?
Rezza : We treat all opponents with respect and adopt the same mentality against everyone. The team sheet can indicate one thing, but it always boils down to performance on that day.
Q : What results would you be comfortable or satisfied with?
Rezza : A medal would be comfortable, but we are looking to get the gold (as we did in 2017)
5)What’s next after the SEA Games in Cambodia?
Rezza : Our next major campaign will be the Asian Games in Hangzhou, 5 months from now.
Rezza was batting for Singapore in their clash against Kenya. Photo Credit : Twitter/@T20WorldCup
Q : What is your Pre-Game ritual (if any)?
Rezza : I try to stay calm and focused. Sometimes I meditate to get there, sometimes I laugh with the players to get there, sometimes I hit balls. It depends.

Q : Do you have a favourite go-to song before the start of a match?
Rezza : I'm not much of a songs person. I don’t really listen to songs. But I do watch Muhammad Ali videos occasionally to motivate me.
Q : Do you have a pre-match meal, snack or drink before a game?
Rezza : I try to eat eggs before a game. I also snack on dates during or before a game.
Q : Your favourite Cricket Player in the world and why?
Rezza : Imran Khan. He was not monstrously talented, but he had iron will. He excelled at everything he did. With the bat.... With the ball....With captaincy. Outside of cricket

Rezza Gaznavi (middle) with his TeamSG squadmates in competition. Photo Credit : Rezza Gaznavi


The Cricket Competition in Cambodia 2023 gets underway from 29 April onwards with the 50-overs format.

Watch the Games LIVE on Singtel TV, Singtel TV GO, Singtel CAST and meWATCH.

For the latest on our TeamSG athletes, visit