DOUBLE FLICK: Amin Rahim (left) and Razie Rahim, will represent KL in the Razak Cup in Malacca starting tomorrow.
EIGHTEEN-Time Razak Cup champions Kuala Lumpur have the best penalty corner flickers in the country, but still, they are not good enough to be tagged as the favourites in the 49th edition which starts today in Malacca.
The tournament was incepted in 1963 and Singapore were the inaugural champions, while Kuala Lumpur only came into the picture with a win in 1982 under the Federal Territory banner.
And even though they have No 1 penalty corner flicker Amin Rahim and No 2 Razie Rahim, KL coach I. Vick neswaran does not feel too comfortable to be called the favourites.
“As the defending champions, we would again play to be in the final, however this year the team composition looks more balanced and some serious preparations have been done by states.
“I feel this edition will be tough to call, unlike previous years when the winner could be picked from the team list itself,” said Vickneswaran.
Perak and hosts Malacca, according to Vickneswaran, are some of the teams to watch our for.
“Both Perak and Malacca have good players and are capable to upset any team which looks down at them. The Razak Cup, I believe, has been re-vitalised as states are now more serious in their build-ups unlike previous years,” said Vickneswaran.
KL are in Group A with Johor Armed Forces and Penang, while in Group B are Pahang, Terengganu, Malacca and Perak.
Malacca were champions in 2005, third last year and semi- finalists in the previous six tournaments. Their trump card in the Qualifier was former international Chua Boon Huat, while they can also rely on nine players from the Under-21 squad who won the National title two months ago in Johor Baru.
TODAY: Division One (Group A) -- Johor v Armed Forces (4pm, Pitch I), Kuala Lumpur v Penang (6pm, Pitch I).
Group B: Pahang v Malacca (8pm, Pitch I), Terengganu v Perak (5pm, Pitch II).
Division Two (Group A): Project 2017 v Perlis (7.30am, Pitch I), Selangor v Kelantan (9am, Pitch I).
Group B: Sarawak v Sabah (7.30am, Pitch II), Negri v Kedah (9am, Pitch II).