Thursday, March 06, 2014

Reduced Participation Won't Rob Sultan Azlan Shah Cup Of Its Allure

KUALA LUMPUR, March 5 (Bernama) -- Reduced participation in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup competition will not rob the tournament of its allure says organising committee chairman Datuk Abd Rahim Md Ariff.

The 23rd edition of the tournament, to be held from March 13 to 23, will feature Australia, Canada, China, South Africa, South Korea and Malaysia.

"From the six participating countries, four, including Malaysia, have qualified for the World Cup in The Hague, Holland, in May. So, fans can expect an exciting tournament as Malaysia have been drawn in the same group as Australia and South Korea.

"The level of competition will be like the World Cup," he told reporters after receiving sponsorship pledges for RM1.85 million from 25 sponsors on behalf of Raja Dr Nazrin Shah, the Regent of Perak.

Apart from Malaysia, Australia, South Korea and South Africa have qualified for the World Cup.

The tournament will also be the first real test for new national team head coach Dharma Raj Abdullah to gauge the performance of his players, ahead of the World Cup.

Meanwhile, the fate of Kevin Lim, a Malaysian born player who is currently playing in Germany but keen to represent the National team, will depend on a decision by the President of the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) said MHC senior vice president Datuk Nur Azmi Ahmad.

"He (Kevin) is keen to play for Malaysia. We in MHC are looking at the best possible way to address his case. The good news is that he still holds a MyKad, so he can represent the country.

"Maybe after the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup, the President (Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah) will make an announcement," he said.

For the record, Kevin who has been playing for the Berlin Hockey Club for nine years, has earned 30 caps with the German national team since 2005.

Kevin's father Git San is a Malaysian from Penang while his mother Dagmar is a German.

He first represented Germany in a quadrangular held in Nuremburg (2005) while his last appearance was at the Punjab Gold Cup held in Chandigarh back in 2009.

However, he would not be among the players in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup competition.

-- BERNAMA

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