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Filipina cricketers, mostly OFWs, win 2 silvers in SEA Games

20 May 2023


The team, shortly after their big win in the SEA games

Fresh from winning two silver medals in the 2023 Southeast Asian Games in Cambodia, the  Philippines' first ever women's cricket team, made up mostly by domestic workers in Hong Kong, returned to their work place victorious and reinvigorated.

They flew in on May 17, along with their manager Animesh Kulkarni, the women’s complement from Manila and the men’s national cricket team.

Consul General Raly Tejada sent protocol officer Patrick Lozano to meet the heroic Filipinos at planeside in Hong Kong International Airport upon learning that they won medals for the country in the biennial regional games.

Though happy with the result of their first international outing, team captain Josie Arimas said cricket should be taught at an early age to Filipinas, for an even more formidable result.

A Consulate representative meets the mainly OFW contingent at HK Airport

The national women’s cricket team took pride in its debut appearance in a major international event like the SEA Games.

Skippered by Simran Sirah from Manila, the Philippine women’s T10 squad locked in the country’s first silver medal of the regional meeting by defeating Cambodia 45-44 in the event on opening day on April 29. But they lost to top-ranked Thailand 13-11 in the final on May 16.

On May 10, the Filipinas with Jennifer Alumbro from Hong Kong at the helm, earned a shot at the Sixes gold-medal match by thumping host Cambodia 54-42 at the AZ Group Cricket Oval, but settled for silver in a defeat to Indonesia, 78-25, in the final. 


The Filipinas also competed on May 1 in the gruelling T20 tournament with Arimas as captain, but they proved no match to the pitch veterans Thailand, who won 10-9 with 116 balls remaining.

Ranged against the old-timers, the Filipinas on May 6 suffered a 23-21 defeat to Malaysia, which won 10 wickets with 105 balls left.

Yet their back-to-back silver triumphs were reason to celebrate for the Filipinas, whose freshness and lack of international exposure told on their performance against the veteran sides in the region.


Learning a lesson from the recent Games, Arimas said that starting Filipino girls early in the sport, the country can help the country build a strong team to be reckoned with in international tournaments.

Arimas is also the founder and captain of SCC Divas, the all-Filipina domestic helper side in Hong Kong cricket.

Magkano? Pindutin ito!

“Thailand is the top team in Southeast Asia and ranks 12th in world cricket,” said Arimas shortly after flying back to Hong Kong with her team of fellow workers on Wednesday afternoon. The rest of the team flew back to Manila on the same day.

“As a cricket mentor, I’d like to spread the sport across the country so that the Philippines can build a formidable cricket team that can play strongly against the older teams around the region,” Arimas said.

She said this was the first time that a Philippine cricket team competed in the SEAGames, and the team’s Hong Kong contingent comprised the first Filipina cricketers who formed the SCC Divas side in the SAR’s cricket league back in 2017.


“I think it’s best to start training young girls now to produce a strong Philippine Blue Caps team para sa next SEA Games in Thailand in 2025,” said Arimas, who is now 47 years old. 

In a sport where agility and speed count on the pitch, the Filipinas from Hong Kong who played for the national team may not be in their prime but still managed to produce medals despite being minnows in the sport. 

Arimas said among those who scored were April Saquilon, Jonna Eguid, Alex Smith, Jhon Andreano, Jennifer Alumbro and others who scored 1 or 2 runs.

Pindutin para sa detalye

The captain said the team needs to score big in batting. She said the Filipinas’ more challenging matches were against Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia.

Kulkarni, their manager who went with the team to Cambodia, said he was happy with the Filipinas’ performance in their first major tournament outside Hong Kong. But he said more preparations will be needed to hone up the team for the next SEA Games in 2025. 


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