Baljit Singh Charun (right) has been included in the Commonwealth Games squad by national coach K. Dharmaraj. — filepic
KUALA LUMPUR: Defender Baljit Singh Charun has decided to put his quit
decision on hold after being included in the national hockey team for
next month’s Glasgow Commonwealth Games.
The 27-year-old was left out of three tournaments this year – the Sultan
Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh in March, the Champions Challenge 1 in Kuantan
in April and last month’s World Cup in The Hague, Holland.
Following Malaysia’s disastrous show in the World Cup, national coach K.
Dharmaraj promptly included Baljit in the Games squad. Malaysia
finished last among the 12 teams, losing all their six matches and
conceded 26 goals.
“I featured in all the tournaments for the national team last year.
Suddenly, I was not required any more this year. I thought of quitting
if failed to get a place for the Commonwealth Games,” said Baljit, who
has 191 international caps.
The Kuala Lumpur-born Baljit is known for his guts. He is always the
first out of the line when Malaysia defend against penalty corners.
“I have injured my knee a couple of times while stopping penalty corners, but it will not stop me from doing that in Glasgow.
“I hope to put up a good show in Glasgow as I want to secure a place in
the team for the Asian Games (in Incheon in September),” said Baljit,
who also played in the 2010 New Delhi Commonwealth Games.
For the Commonwealth Games, Malaysia will open their Group B campaign
against Canada on July 26. Their other matches are against England (July
27), Trinidad and Tobago (July 29) and New Zealand (July 31).
Defending champions Australia, India, Wales, South Africa and Scotland are in Group A.
The Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) have not set any target for the team after a poor outing in the World Cup.