Thursday, October 31, 2013

Off to Kakamigahara with mixed crew..

FOUR former national players received a life-line to play in  the Third Asian Champions Trophy in Kakamigahara, Japan,  from Saturday.
    Former skipper Madzli Ikmar, 34, quit after the London  Olympics Qualifier in Dublin, but coach Paul Revington  recalled him for the Japan mission.
   Also recalled were Megat Azrafiq, Ahmad Kazamirul, and  Engku Malik. Kazamirul was also out in the cold for a long  period, before being recalled for the recent International  Hockey 9s in Australia, while the other two players have been  out of action for more than 18 months.
    The men’s team will have defending champions Pakistan,  India, Malaysia, Japan, China and Oman; while the women’s  tournament will be made up of Japan, India, Malaysia and  China.
    Malaysia won bronze medals in the last two editions in  Ordos, China, in 2011 and Doha last year.
    “Even though we will be fielding a mixed side, the aim is to  play in the final and better our previous outings,” said team  manager George Koshy.
    The only fresh face is Amirullah Zainol, 22, who will be  making his senior team debut.
    India, who won the title in Ordos, will be fielding 13 junior  world cup players who recently won gold in the Sultan of  Johor Cup.
     Hockey India secretary general Dr Narinder Batra said:  “With the Indian Junior team preparing for the forthcoming  Junior World Cup in New Delhi. The Asian Champions Trophy  gives us an opportunity to allow our junior players to  showcase their skills and gain experience in the international  environment.
   “Out of the 18 players selected for the Asian Champions  Trophy 13 were part of the team which won the Sultan of  Johor Cup in Malaysia.”
    India are the runners-up as they lost to Pakistan 4-5 in  2012. In 2011, India won gold when they beat Pakistan 4-2 in   penalty shoot-out.
    Malaysia: Goalkeepers: S. Kumar, Khairulnizam Ibrahim.
    Defenders: Ahmad Kazamirul, Azlan Misron, Engku Abdul  Malik, Megat Azrafiq, Madzli Ikmar, Razie Rahim.
   Midfielders: Azreen Rizal, Sukri Mutalib, Marhan Jalil,  Nabil Fiqri, Ramadan Rosli.
   Forwards: Faizal Saari, Ismail Abu, Izwan Firdaus, Amir ullah Zainol, Azammi Adabi.