INDIA yesterday withdrew from the Sultan Johor Cup, even though they had confirmed to play in the tournament on Oct 31-Nov 6 in Johor Baru.
Tournament organisers Johor HA, perplexed with the sudden withdrawal. have invited Japan instead.
"It is surprising that India withdrew from tournament after confirming their entry. They have been regulars since its inception in 2011," said JHA deputy president Manjit Singh is also the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) vice-president.
"I have no idea why they withdrew, its a decision only known to Hockey India."
The tournament will be a six-team affair again this year and those who have confirmed are Japan, England, New Zealand, Pakistan Australia and Malaysia.
For the record Britain beat India in a shoot-out in last years final.
Malaysia are expected to field a development squad coached by Wallace Tan since the junior team was disbanded after failing to qualify for the Junior World Cup.