Monday, March 10, 2014

No 1 goalkeeper Kumar to sit out Azlan Shah Cup..

COACH Dharmaraj’s Azlan Shah Cup preparations hit  another big snag as No 1 goalkeeper S. Kumar  picked up an  injury before the Hockey India League (HIL) semi-finals.
    And he will be out for at least two weeks to undergo  rehabilitation, and will miss the Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh from  March 13-23.
   “I am currently undergoing rehabilitation at the National   Institute of Sports and will need at least two weeks of rehab   and rest before I can pad up again,” said Kumar.
    Malaysia’s No 1 penalty corner flicker Razie Rahim also   dislocated his shoulder during the HIL and not only will he be   out for the Azlan Shah Cup, but he might not even be ready for  the World Cup in  Netherlands on May 31 to June 15.
    Dharmaraj will name his squad, to defend last year’s silver   medal, today (Tuesday), after training matches against Aus  tralia and China.
    Malaysia will be up against defending champions Aus tralia, who will be gunning for their eighth Azlan Shah Cup  title; South Africa, South Korea, China and Canada.
    Malaysia played a three-match series against Canada in  Malacca last week and won 6-2, lost 5-4 and won the third  match 5-1.
    Meanwhile, Azzami Abadi was shell-shocked when he was  dropped  from the national training squad by Dharmaraj, and   believes he gave his best and does not deserve a cold shoulder   from his coach.
    Dharmaraj had dropped Azzami, 24- years-old with 54  caps, upon returning from the Australian Tour last week.
   “I have trained under coach Tai Beng Hai, Stephen van   Huizen and recently Paul Revington and none of them had   any problems with my playing style, determination and   desire.
    “All the coaches liked me and I have represented the nation   54 times as proof,” said Azzami.
    “I always give my best in every match, training and team   activities,” added Azzami.
    He will now turn out for Tenaga Nasional in Division One of   the Malaysia Hockey League.
   Dharmaraj also cleared the air yesterday that he only said: “When I broke the news to him, I also said that you are a good boy and I have no problem with your attitude. I think it is better that you focus on your studies and you can also continue playing in Division One of the MHL.
   “I will now call up two other players and see how they progress in this ongoing selection process until the World Cup.”