Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Out-dia become In-dia after five hours..

Contrary to news reports filtering out of India, it can now be confirmed that India will participate in the 22nd edition of the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup that commences on March 9 at the Azlan Shah Stadium in Ipoh.
The confirmation that Hockey India has resolved its issues with the Government of India was made via an email sewnt by Elena Norman, the Chief Executive of Hockey India to the Malaysian Hockey Confederation minutes ago.
The email reads as follows:
"We have just received confirmation from the Government of India, that the necessary financial sanction of the team has been received.
"As such the Senior Men National Hockey Team shall be participating in the 22nd Sultan of Azlan Shah tournament starting from 9 – 17 March 2013.
"The team will be arriving as scheduled on 3 March 2013, and we apologise any inconvenience caused."
Elena Norman
Chief Executive Officer
Hockey India.
Earlier there was news that Hockey India had issued a Press Release stating that they were withdrawing from the tournament.
"We are relieved that India will be coming and are happy that things worked out well in the end. It was a worrying few hours for us and I thank Hockey India and the Government of India for kindly agreeing to send their team," said Dato Abdul Rahim Md Ariff, the Chairman of the Organising Committee and Malaysian Hockey Confederation Vice President.

In-dia Out-dia from Azlan Shah Cup..

FIVE-TIME champions India have pulled out of the Azlan Shah Cup which will be held in Ipoh on March 9-17.
  And the
  Because Sports Authority of India (SAI) refused to bear the travel expenditure of the national team, which would come up to a mere US14,000.
  The organisers of the Azlan Shah Cup bear the cost of food and lodging.
  India had confirmed their entry, and the fixtures have already been drawn up so if they stick to their guns, the tournament will become a five-team event with Malaysia, Pakistan, Australia, South Korea and New Zealand making the cast.
  Hockey India, the governing body, had sent out a press statement regarding the matter.
   Times of India said: "We have withdrawn the national team from the Azlan Shah Cup after the government refused to bear the to and fro airfares stating that we have exceeded the budget," a reliable source said on conditions of anonymity.
  "It is an unfortunate incident as it is the SAI who has given us the go-ahead to hold the national camp for this tournament here. And now they are saying no.."
  India were supposed to fly in this Saturday.

SSTMI Thunderbolts stand a better chance..

TWO JOHOR teams will be out to create history in the Junior Hockey League Milo Cup Semi-finals today, but only one of the Tengku Mahkota Ismail Sports School side is expected to cruise into the final.
  SSTMI Juniors will find the going tough, as they will face UniKL Young Guns in the first leg semi-finals today, while it would be relatively easier for their sister side SSTMI who will meet Anderson of Ipoh in the two leg semi-finals.
  If history is to be used as yardstick, then UniKL are going to cruise into the semis as they beat SSTMI Juniors 6-2 in the League.
  And on the same yardstick, Anderson had beaten SSTMI 3-2 in the League, to become the only side that had taken three points off the Johor school in the last three seasons.
  But it would be foolish to judge the semi-finals using history, as SSTMI went on the win the League title, while SSTMI Juniors held off Division One runners-up Petaling Jaya City Council on 8-7 aggregate to reach this stage.
  The formbook was torn to pieces, as both the Sports Schools have shown that they have gritty players.
  "Eventhough we expected to meet PJCC in the semifinals, and were planning to avenge our 0-1 defeat to them in the league, SSTMI Juniors sprung a surprise to book a date with us," said UniKL Hockey Club acting president Amir Azhar Ibrahim.
   However, Amir cautioned his side: "SSTMI Juniors have come a long way since we beat them in the League, and they can challenge UniKL in every department as they did to PJCC in the quarters.
  "I expect them to come fully prepared to face the Young Guns as they also enjoy the vast experience and tactical knowledge of Tenaga Nasional coaching setup as what their senior team receive.
  "We are aware of that and will have the full squad (suspension and injury free) ready for the challenge in the home leg tomorrow (today). We will try to capitalise on the home turf advantage before we travel to Johor on Friday for the return leg".
  As for SSTMI coach  Wan Roslan Wan Rahman, the shock defeat to Anderson in the League is nothing to worry about as the teams face each other on a new frontier.
  "That (the defeat) was when we were bogged down by travel fatigue and playing non stop as the fixtures were drawn up in such a way. Also, we did not have two key players who were injured then.
  "However, my side are ready for a home run as the injured players have recovered, and we are fresh after a good rest," said Wan Roslan.
  TODAY: Semi-finals (First Leg): Tengku Mahkota Ismail Sports School v Andersons (Taman Daya, 5pm); UniKL v SSTMI Juniors (National Stadium Pitch II, 5pm).
    FRIDAY: Semi-finals (Second Leg): Andersons v Tengku Mahkota Ismail Sports School (Azlan Shah Stadium, 5pm); SSTMI Juniors v UniKL (Taman Daya, 5pm).