Monday, October 29, 2018

Sarjit plans to stop his former boys...

KUALA LUMPUR: Long time Terengganu coach Sarjit Singh will be on the other side of the fence Tuesday when he plans to either hold or beat them in Division One of the Razak Cup.
  For, after helping Terengganu Hockey Team (THT) to be a household name in the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) and helping the state in various other tournaments, the Olympian is now with Johor.
  "I have a young team as 12 of my players recently played in the Malaysia Games in Ipoh and we only had one day to train as a team before competing in the Razak Cup.
  "They did well to beat Penang (4-0), but lacked sharpness against Kuala Lumpur and fell 3-0 to late goals.
  "My players did everything right against KL, except knock in the sitters that came their way," lamented Sarjit, a former Malaysian skipper.
   Terengganu drew 1-1 with defending champions Perak and beat Penang 4-2.
  "It will not be easy, but not impossible as well. My young brigade will put up a good fight, that is for sure," said Sarjit.
  RESULTS -- Men's Division Two: Pahang 4 Kelantan 1, Singapore 1 Selangor 2, Police x Armed Forces x.
  Women's Group A: Selangor 3 Singapore 1, Police 0 Malacca 2; Group B: Armed Forces 3 Terengganu 2, Penang 3 Pahang 1.
  TUESDAY -- Men's Division One: Malacca v Penang (6pm, Pitch I), Kuala Lumpur v Perak (8pm, Pitch I), Johor v Terengganu (8pm, Pitch II).
  Division Two: Armed Forces v Singapore (4pm, Pitch I), Pahang v Police (4pm, Pitch II), Kelantan v Selangor (6pm, Pitch II).
  Women's Group A: malacca v Kuala Lumpur (7.30am, Pitch II), Singapore v Police (Pitch I, 7.30am).

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Razak Cup Div 1: KL 3 Johor 0

KUALA LUMPUR: Kuala Lumpur got their act together to beat a young Johor side 3-0 in Division One of the Razak Cup Sunday.
  In their curtain raiser, KL could only manage a 0-0 draw against Malacca and so coach K. Gobinathan was elated with the encouraging result.
  ""We could not settle down in our opening match against Malacca, who gave us some very strong resistence. And even against Johor, we could not open up the match early and had to wait for after half-time to crack them," said Gobinathan who coached the Bangladesh team at the recent Asian Games in Jakarta.
  Aminudin Zain gave KL a break with a 32nd minute goal, while Wan Haziq Hisyamudin (54th) and Syamim Yusof (56th) made sure full points were theirs.
  "After a day's break we play defending champions Perak and we need to keep today's fire burning to collect full points. Perak are the early favourites even though they were held 1-1 by Terengganu Saturday they came back stronger to beat Malacca 5-0," said Gobinathan.
  RESULTS: Men's Division One: Johor 0 Kuala Lumpur 3, Perak 5 Malacca 0, Penang 2 Terengganu 4.
   Women's Group A: Kuala Lumpur 1 Police 1, Malacca 1 Selangor 2; Group B: Pahang 1 Armed Forces 1, Penang 3 Terengganu 2.
  MONDAY: Men's Division Two: Pahang v Kelantan (4pm, Pitch I), Singapore v Selangor (4pm, Pitch II), Police v Armed Forces (6pm, Pitch I).
  Women's Group A: Selangor v Singapore (7.30am, Pitch II), Police v Malacca (7.30am, Pitch I); Group B: Armed Forces v Terengganu (9.30am, Pitch I), Penang v Pahang (9.30am, Pictch II).

Malaysia shot down in Muscat shoot-out

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia clawed back from the jaws of death to force a draw, but a disappointing shoot-out saw them lost 3-1 to Pakistan in the semi-finals of the Asian Champions Trophy in Muscat, Oman.
  In the other semi-finals, India edged a fighting Japan 3-2.
  Malaysia will now play for bronze with the Asian Games champions, while India and Pakistan battle for gold.
  Losing 1-4 at one point, a super third quarter saw Malaysia fight back and end regulation time at 4-4, but in the shoot-out only Nik Aiman Rozemi was able to score, while Firhan Ashari, Faizal Shaari and Shahril Saabah faltered.
  In regulation time Faizal Shaari (second, 56th), Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin (37th) and Nik Aiman Rozemi (44th) delivered.
  Malaysian coach Roelant Oltmans said: "Indeed the boys had a great comeback and to be honest the score at half time (losing 1-4) was not flattering as we conceded some unecessary goals and missed a couple of chances ourselves."
  The Dutch national them encouraged his charges: "I told them (at the half-time break) the game was not over and that we would get our chances again.
  "In regulation time we could have finished the match but unfortunately we lost on shoot-out. Nevertheless I'm proud of the performance but disappointed with the final outcome."
  The coach was barely appointed when he had to take his charges to Oman for the ACT.
  "Of course we didn’t prepare much. But we need to do better than scoring just one goal (in shoot out) while our goalkeeper Hairi (Rahman) saved two, which is good."
  And on Oltmans take on the bronze battle: "Japan, who lost just 3-2 to India will be another interesting encounter again. We beat them 3-0 (in the pool) and we will fight for the bronze medal for sure."  

ACT semifinals: Malaysia collapse in shoot-out

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia went down 3-1 in a shoot-out to Pakistan in the semi-finals of the Asian Champions Trophy in Muscat, Oman on Saturday.
  Malaysia clawed back from being down 4-1, to equalise at 4-4 and drag the match into shoot-out but failed to crack Pakistan and will now play for the bronze medal
  The defeat came at the back of a 1-0 loss to Pakistan in the pool match, and this spells trouble for coach Roelant Oltmans World Cup campaign.
  Malaysia are in Group D with Pakistan, Germany and Netherlands in the Bhubaneswar, India, World Cup on Nov 28-Dec 16.
  And they need to brush up their tactics, if they hope to beat Pakistan in the World Cup and advance to the next stage, as the fourth placed team in each group will go home early.
  Faizal Shaari gave Malaysia a second minute lead, but it was all Pakistan after that.
  Goals from Muhammad Irfan (sixth), Aleem Bilal (12th), Abu Bakar Mahmood (15th) and Aleem Bilal (20th) -- made it 4-1.
  Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin (37th) and Nik Aiman Rozemi (44th) narrowed the gap, and Faizal's 56th minute goal took the match to shoot-out, but Malaysia failed at the final hurdle.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Razak Cup; Terengganu hold champions Perak

KUALA LUMPUR: Defending champions Perak were held to a 1-1 draw by a fighting Terengganu in Division One of the Razak Cup at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil Saturday.
  Perak scored first off a field attempt from  Haziq Samsul in the 27th minute, but Terengganu fought back to share points with a strike from Najmi Farizal Jazlan in the 37th minute.
  Both goalkeepers also played a pivotal role in this draw. Seasoned former national player and now with the national coaching set-up Roslan Jamaluddin made some brilliant saves, and at the other end, former Junior World Cup goalkeeper Hazrul Faiz Sobri saved more than five point-blank shots.
  National player Fitri Shaari who stayed back from the Asian Champions Trophy to attend his Convocation at Universiti Malaya, was the back-bone of Terengganu.
  And how did Terengganu skipper Fitri feel about the draw: "Disappointing, a really disappointing draw. We had a few clean shots at goal but my forward line could not convert the chances and we ended up sharing points in a match that we should have won."
  Terengganu next play Penang Sunday.
  "We can't afford to drop anymore points, and so, we need to minimise mistakes and be sharper in the opponents semi-circle to keep our sights on playing in the final," said Fitri.
  The men's Division One and Two is being played on a round robin format, and the top-two teams play gold.
  RESULTS: Men's Division One: Perak 1 Terengganu 1, Malacca 0 Kuala Lumpur 0, Penang 0 Johor 4.
  Division Two: Police 4 Singapore 2, Kelantan 1 Armed Forces 4, Selangor 1 Pahang 5.
  Women's Group A: Selangor 3 Police 3, Kuala Lumpur 5 Singapore 1.
  SUNDAY: Men's Division One: Johor v Kuala Lumpur (4pm, Pitch I), Perak v Malacca (4pm, Pitch II), Penang v Terengganu (6pm, Pitch I).
  Women's Group A: Kuala Lumpur v Police (9.30am, Pitch II), Malacca v Selangor (9.30am, Pitch I); Group B: Pahang v Armed Forces (7.30am, Pitch II), Penang v Terengganu (7,30am, Pitch I).

Friday, October 26, 2018

Razak Cup: Nor Hidayah saves Selangor...

KUALA LUMPUR: Women's Razak Cup champions Selangor got off to a good start when they beat Kuala Lumpur in Group A Friday.
  The winner was delivered by Nor Hidayah Ahmad off a field attempt in the 11th minute.
  Selangor, who won their first title last year, will next play Police on Saturday.
  RESULTS -- Men's Division Two: Selangor 2 Armed Forces 2, Pahang 6 Singapore 0, Kelantan 2 Police 6.
  Women's Group A: Malacca 2 Singapore 0, Selangor 1 Kuala Lumpur 0.
  Group B: Pahang 2 Terengganu 0, Armed Forces 2 Penang 2.
  SATURDAY: Men's Division One: Perak v Terengganu (6pm, Pitch I), Malacca v Kuala Lumpur (8pm, Pitch I), Penang v Johor (8pm, Pitch II).
  Division Two: Police v Singapore (4pm, Pitch I), Kelantan v Armed Forces (4pm, Pitch II), Selangor v Pahang (6pm, Pitch II).
  Women's Group A: Selangor v Police (7.30am, Pitch II), Kuala Lumpur v Singapore (7.30am, Pitch I).

Razak Cup: Brian explains four guest player ruling

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) competitions committee manager Brian Fernandez (pic) Friday said the player eligibility rule in Razak Cup is to make sure states develop their own players.
  In a statement, Brian said the rule is not new and has been practised for a long time, only that it was limited to four players this year.
  Earlier, states could field as many 'guest' players as they liked provided they get release letters from states which they sign players from.
  Player eligibility rules forced Division One teams Negri Sembilan and Perlis as well as Division Two side Kedah to withdraw from the Razak Cup at the 11th hour.
  "Eligibility rule is there to make sure states develop their own talent and not rely on others to form a team. 
  "If grassroots development is carried out regularly, states would have no problem fielding a team. 
  "And as everybody knows, state-leagues are very active right now, and players should have been spotted at this level and states should no longer have problems in player-selection," said Brian.
  Perlis, Kedah and Negri had claimed that even though half of their team had Identity Cards which state they were born elsewhere, the said boys have been schooling as well as playing for them for a long time.
  Brian also said the competitions committee, chaired by George Koshy and with members from states, emphasise on development and so states should have a bigger pool of players to make sure there is no shortage.  

ACT: Pakistan 1 Malaysia 0,, til we meet again Saturday

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia will play Pakistan in the semi-finals of the Asian Champions Trophy in Muscat, Oman on Saturday.
  The national players ended third on the standings at the end of the pool matches, after they lost to Pakistan 1-0 Thursday.
  It was Malaysia's only defeat of the tournament as in previous matches, hey started with a 3-0 win over Japan, followed by 3-1 win over Oman, 4-2 over South Korea and a 0-0 draw against India.
  India topped the pool unbeaten, and will play Japan in the other semi-finals.
  "Sport is very simple, you can’t win Matches if you don’t score. We didn’t in the last two matches. One time without conceding (0-0 with India) and one time we didn’t put enough efforts in our counter control.
  "I believe we’ll see a match on a different pace (in the semi-finals against Pakistan again) and I’m convinced we’ll score goals in the upcoming match.
  "If you play a semi-final, you always be able to give something extra. You can’t focus on the outcome, but you can on the right approach and execution of the plans," said Malaysia coach Roelant Oltmans.
   Pakistan manager Hasan Sardar said: "“It was important for my men to taste victory against an opponent whom we will face again in the semi-finals two days later.”
   The only difference in the pool encounter was Muhammad Irfan 54th minute goal, otherwise Malaysia had a good outing but failed to nail sitters.

         P      W       D       L       F      A        Pts

India 5 4 1 0 27 2 13
Pakistan 5 3 1 1 14 8 10
Malaysia 5 3 1 1 10 6 10
Japan 5 2 1 2 8 13 7
Korea 5 1 0 4 8 15 3
Oman 5 0 0 5 4 31 0

ACT: Malaysia 0 Pakistan 1.. rematch in semis Saturday

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's unbeaten run in the Asian Champions Trophy was finally broken when Pakistan won 1-0 in Muscat, Oman, Thursday.
  The solitary goal was scored by Muhammad Irfan in the 54th minute off a field attempt.
  However, the last pool match for coach Roelant Oltmans men was more of a warm-up ahead of the semi-finals on Saturday, where both the teams will meet again.
  The other semi-finals is between table toppers India and fourth placed Japan.
  Malaysia and Pakistan both completed the pool matches with 10 points, but Pakistan finished second due to more goals scored.
   The national players started the ACT with a 3-0 win over Japan, followed by 3-1 win over Oman, 4-2 over South Korea and a 0-0 draw against India.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Razak Cup: MHC accept Negri, Perlis and Kedah pull out..

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) competitions committee decided to stick with their Razak Cup rules, and accepted the withdrawal of three teams at the 11th hour.
  The Razak Cup begins today (Friday) with a change in format as well as fixtures after Division One saw Negri Sembilan and Perlis pulling out, while Kedah withdrew from Division Two.
  The three men's teams withdrew because they felt that even though many of their players had other states' Identity Card numbers, but the players were developed by them over the years and so they had a right to field them.
  The MHC competitions committee stuck by the Razak Cup rules which state that each team can only register four guest players.
  "The three teams wrote to MHC about their decision to withdraw and the MHC competitions committee has accepted, and so I re-drew the fixtures and now the men's Division One and Two will be run on a round robin format where the top-two teams will play in the final," said Razak Cup tournament director P. Kuganesan.
  According to Kuganesan, none of the other states raised any issues at the managers meeting yesterday (Thursday).
  Division one men's defending champions Perak will lead the charge while the other states are Terengganu, Malacca, Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Johor.
  In the men's Division Two are Selangor, Armed Forces, Pahang, Singapore, Kelantan and Police.
  The women's Group A has Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Malacca Police ans Singapore while in Group B are Pahang, Armed Forces, Terengganu and Penang.
  Friday: Women's Group B: Pahang v Terengganu (7.30am, Pitch II), Armed Forces v Penang (7.30am, Pitch I).
  Group A: Malacca v Singapore (9.30am, Pitch II), Selangor v Kuala Lumpur (9.30am, Pitch I).
  Men's Division Two -- Selangor v Armed Forces (4pm, Pitch I), Pahang v Singapore (4pm, Pitch II), Kelantan v Police (6pm, Pitch I).
  Note: All matches at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Razak Cup: Kedah and Negri withdraw.. Perlis in two minds.

PIC: Negri Sembilan team manager S. Chandran.

KUALA LUMPUR: The second oldest hockey tournament in the country was thrown into turmoil at the 11th hour, as two teams have withdrawn while one more is waiting for an appeal.
  The problem is player-eligibility rule which was introduced a month ago after the closing date of entries.
  The 56th Razak Cup will start at the Bukit Jalil Stadium Friday, but Division One team Negri Sembilan and Division Two team Kedah have written in to the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) to withdraw their teams.
  Perlis, in Division One, is still waiting for an appeal to be considered by MHC.
  However, it looks like the three states can say goodbye to their Razak Cup hopes, as MHC Competitions Committee manager Brian Fernandez when asked if they will relax the rule said: "It's the states' prerogative if they wish to participate or not."
  Negri Sembilan team manager S. Chandran said in the end, the players will become victims of a rigid rule.
  "After the entries closed we were informed of a new eligibility rule where only four guest players are allowed per-team while the rest must be born in their respective states.
  "More than half of our boys were born in other states but have been studying and staying in Negri Sembilan for a long time. In fact, they are a product of our development programme.
  "Only their Identity Card number shows that they were born in another state (normally the mother's state).
  "So, we did appeal to the MHC Competitions Committee to relax the rule but they stood their ground. And so, we have no choice to withdraw even though all the players played for Negri in the recent Malaysia Games," said Chandran.
  The Razak Cup team managers meeting is Thursday.
  Kedah HA secretary B. Sandra Gesan had the same problem.
  "Half our team is born at other states but we are the ones who developed them. So we had no choice but to withdraw," said Sandra.
  Perlis team manager Mohamed Shurizat said they are still waiting: "We are also facing the same problem like Kedah and Negri, as half of our boys are born at other states as well. If there is no favourable reply from the Competitions Committee, we will be forced to withdraw as we do not want to be whipping boys in Division One."
  For the record, the oldest hockey tournament in the country is the Gurdwara Cup which has been held for 67 years without a single break.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

ACT: Malaysia beat South Korea 4-2

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia did just enough to beat South Korea 4-2 in the Asian Champions Trophy in Muscat, Oman, Tuesday morning.
  The win gave coach Roelant Oltmans team nine points after three matches and they have qualified for the semifinals with India and Pakistan matches in hand.
  Malaysia took the lead off Firhan Ashaari in the 11th minute, but Korea fought back with two from Yang Jihun (15th) and Jang Jong Hyun (20th).
  However, goals from Shahril Saabah (22nd), Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin (35th) and Faizal Shaari (57th) handed Malaysia full points.
  In earlier matches, Malaysia had beaten Japan 3-0 and Oman 3-1. South Korea on the other hand had lost to Pakistan 3-1 and Japan 2-0.

Monday, October 22, 2018

Razak Cup: Dharmaraj welcomes Singapore heat

KUALA LUMPUR: National women's coach K. Dharmaraj welcomes the return of Singapore in the Razak Cup as he believes his trainees will benefit from playing against committed opponents.
  The Razak Cup will be held on Oct 26-Nov 3, with both the men's and women's events held at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil.
  Singapore men will play in Division Two, while their women in Group A.
  Last year Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia played in the men's Division Two, while only Indonesia were the foreign team in the women's event.
  This year, the men's event will not have national players who are in Oman for the Asian Champions Trophy as well as preparing for the World Cup in November, while the women's event will have national players to make it more competitive.
  Speaking about the women, Dharmaraj believes Razak Cup and then the national league next year should have more foreign players to raise the standard of his charges.
  "I welcome the Singapore national team to give our players a healthy competition in the Razak Cup. We need to play regularly with players from other countries to become stronger.
  "National players will compete in the Razak Cup, aside from the eight engaged in Europe leagues right now and those who will be sitting for their SPM examinations.
  "The rest return to their states and I hope Singapore gives every state a good fight to raise the standard of women's hockey in the country," said Dharmaraj.
  As for the men's event, last season's semi-finalists Negri Sembilan wants to break their jinx and win the tournament.
  Negri manager S. Chandran said: "With national players out of the Razak Cup, every state will have an equal chance to win the title and we hope to lay our hands on it after being bundled out of the semi-finals last year."
  Negri will field eight Malaysia Games players while the rest are former club or national palyers.
  Last year in the semi-finals, Terengganu beat Negri Sembilan 2-1 while Perak beat Malacca 2-1 in shoot-out after the match ended 0-0.
  Perak beat Terengganu 3-2 for the men's title while Selangor beat Pahang 5-2 for the women's crown.   
 Men -- Division One: Group A: Kuala Lumpur, Perak, Negri Sebilnan, Perlis; Group B: Malacca, Penang, Johor, Terengganu.
  Division Two: Pahang, Armed Forces, Kelantan, Selangor, Kedah, Police, Singapore.
   Women -- Group A: Kuala Lumpur, Malacca, Selangor, Police, Singapore.
  Group B: Penang, Pahang, Armed Forces, Terengganu.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Asian Champions Trophy: Korea test next...

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia will play South Korea Next in the Asian Champions Trophy Monday night, and coach Roelant Oltmans' team should come out tops.
  Malaysia has beaten Japan 3-0 and Oman 3-1 so far, while South Korea have lost both their matches to Pakistan (3-1) and Japan (2-0).
  Even though Malaysia were not impressive against Oman, but newly appointed coach Oltmans seems to have made the team tactically stronger and the South Korea match will be a yardstick to conform this.
  India, who had beaten Oman (11-0) and Pakistan (3-1) look to be the strongest team in the tournament and should make a final appearance.
  After South Korea, Malaysia will be tested by India followed by Pakistan.

         P W D  L GD Pts
India 2 2 0 0 13  6
Malaysia 2 2 0 0 5   6
Pakistan 2 1 0 1 0   3
Japan 2 1 0 1 -1  3
Korea 2 0 0 2 -4  0
Oman 2 0 0 2 -13 0

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Asian Champions Trophy: Malaysia 3 Oman 1

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia took the scenic route before beating Oman 3-1 in the Asian Champions Trophy in Muscat on Saturday.
  The win came at the back of a 3-0 victory over Japan, and Malaysia next play South Korea on Oct 22.
  In another match Saturday, Pakistan beat South Korea 3-0.
  For the record, India had beaten Oman 11-0 in their curtain raiser.
  Firhan Ashaari scored for Malaysia in the 26th minute but Ashad Al Fazari equalised in the 34th minute to off a penalty stroke.
  However, goals from Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin (46th) and Faizal Shaari (48th) gave Malaysia full points.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Asian Champions Trophy: Malaysia 3 Japan 0

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia started their Oman Asian Champions Trophy (ACT) in Muscat with a 3-0 win against Asian Games champions Japan Friday.
  However, even though Malaysia extracted sweet revenge in Oman, Japan had beaten Malaysia in shoot-out to win the more important Asian Games gold medal in Jakarta.
  Japan fielded five new players, and Malaysia had also rested a few players including penalty corner flicker Razie Rahim for the ACT.
  And in Razie's absence, Faizal Shaari converted a penalty corner goal in the third minute and seasoned striker Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin made it 2-0 by the 9th minute off a penalty corner deflection.
  Faizal scored the third goal in the 51st minute off a penalty stroke. 
  No 1 goalkeeeper S. Kumar was rested, as he did complain about muscle pain in his right thumb but was still included for the ACT. Hairi Rahman kept goal in the opening match instead.
  Malaysia next play Oman.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

1975 World Cup: Vampire with India players signatures...

NOTE: 11/05/08 FLASHBACK: Since India will be hosting the World Cup in Bhubaneswar from 28 Nov to 16 Dec. Good luck India. 
  Stick was bought during 2008 Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh.

A WALK around Ipoh's famous Old Town flea-market yesterday (11/05/08) turned into a real bargain, when a special edition Kuala Lumpur 1975 World Cup hockey stick was found among the antiques on display.
  The Vampire stick, manufactured specially after India beat Pakistan 2-1 at the Stadium Merdeka, was lying among old records, rusty coins and old currency notes.
  It looked like any old hockey stick, and I almost moved along, but something prompted me to pick it up and have a closer look.
  And 'WoW! The stick was a special edition designed a year after the KL World Cup, and it had the signatures of all the Indian players on it.
  I asked the vendor: "How much? And since it was a noisy bazaar filled mostly with migrant workers from Bangladesh, Myanmar and India, the vendor indicated by holding out his palms showing eight fingers.
  At first I thought he was saying RM80, but a scribe who was with me said: "Bargain, it can be bought for RM5." And the vendor came closer and I asked him again: "Berapa? (How much).
  And when he said: RM8, I couldn't believe my ears, and quickly took out my wallet, but my friend bargained with the vendor, and we walked away only paying RM5 for a stick which is about 31-years-old (now 43).
  A real bargain, considering it was still in good condition.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Dharmaraj: More funding needed for youth development

KUALA KUMPUR: Former national juniors coach K. Dharmaraj believes our Youth Olympics Hockey 5s gold medal should prompt more funding from the government, for a medal chance in the 2021 Junior World Cup.
  The Malaysian boys’ Under-18 squad upset the odds to enter the final in Buenos Aires, and then beat India 4-2 with a scintillating and convincing display.
  "The fact that India, Australia and Argentina fielded their best Under-18 players for the Youth Olympics is a recognition for the development of our youngsters over the years.
  "Nobody should belittle their achievement, and right now, the government via the National Sports Council should offer more funding towards junior development.
  "These boys, as well as our Sultan of Johor Cup team, need more international exposure to not only qualify for the Junior World Cup, but also go for a medal," said Dharmaraj who now coaches the national women's squad.
  Under Dharmaraj, the Malaysian junior boys ended fourth in the 2013 Junior World Cup, and the coach sees great potential in the present batch as well.
  "I have been observing these boys grow up since some were 15 years old and playing in the Junior Hockey League as well as other tournaments in the country.
  "They have great speed and goal scoring abilities, which is not only important in hockey 5s, but field hockey as well.
  "India, Malaysia and Australia sent their best Under-18 players for the Youth Olympics even though it clashed with the SOJC. This shows that four teams (including Argentina) had class players in the Youth Olympics and we beat them all to the gold."
  Argentina had beaten Malaysia 4-2 in Group A, while India had beaten Argentina 3-1 in the semi-finals.
  Defending champions Australia were sent packing by Zambia 6-4 in the quarter-finals, while Malaysia hammered Zambia 7-4 in the semi-finals.
  "The above results show that it was not an esay path for Malaysia to enter the final, as even Zambia proved the formbook wrong by beating defending champios Australia.
  "Everybody should be proud of Malaysia's achievement, and do not point fingers at the other weak teams in the tournament to belittle this historic gold medal."
   Sports Ministed Syed Saddiq Syed Rahman congratulated the boys on twitter: "Malaysia created history once more in the Youth Olympics! 
Tahniah kepada (Congratulations to) #TeamMalaysia yang berjaya menundukkan India (who beat India). Kamu semua inspirasi kita! (You guys are our inspiration!).

Monday, October 15, 2018

Subahan: Lets build on Youth Olympics gold..

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Under-18squad has opened up a can of opportunities, as they did the unexpected and delivered a gold medal in the Youth Olympics Hockey 5s in Buenos Aires Monday.
  It was a sweet 4-2 win over India in the final, as hockey made its debut in the Third Youth Olympics and nobody expected them to travel the distance and return with gold.
  Vivek Sagar Prasad gave India the lead in 2nd minute, but Firdaus Rosdi equalised in the fifth.
  Vivek again gave India the lead, but goals from Akhimullah Anuar Esook (14th, 18th) and Amirul Hamizan Azahar (17th) handed Malaysia a well fought gold medal.
  For the record, Akhimullah scored a total of 22 goals in the tournament.
  "This is a monumental achievement for our youth, as frankly, when they qualified for the Youth Olympics we waved them on their journey by telling them to do their best.
  "But they achieved a marvellous milestone not only for themselves, but made the whole country proud with a fantastic display," said Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) president Datuk Seri Subahan Kamal.
  Subahan gave credit to the 1Mas Programme for building a strong foundation for this group of players.
  "Most of the boys are from the 1Mas Programme initiated by Tunku Abdullah (Sultan Ahmad Shah) and we would like to thank all the coaches involved in nurturing this batch of youth.
  "Credit goes to the Education Ministry for giving these boys a leeway whenever we needed them, and also the National Sports Council (NSC) for their undying help towards hockey," said Subahan.
  MHC have changed the 1Mas structure by introducing a new youth development programme, and hope the NSC give them a leg up.
  The toast of the team, coached by Wallaca Tan and Megat Azrafiq, is Akhimullah Anuar Esook who scored a total of 22 goals to almost single handedly snatched the gold medal.
  "These boys have tremendous potential and are our future to lead in qualifying for the 2021 Junior World Cup. Akhimullah, for one, has shown great potential and even Technical Director Terry Walsh feels the same," said Subahan.
  Akhimullah is a product of Sekolah Sukan Tunku Mahkota Ismail and in 2016, as a 16-year-old, played with the Malaysia Blue in the Australian Hockey League.  

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Youth Olympics Hockey 5s: Malaysia v India final

PIC: Akhimullah -- 20-goal hero.

NOTE: In the Bangkok 5s YO Qualifier final, Malaysia 4 India 4. India win shoot-out gold 2-1.

KUALA KUMPUR: The Malaysian men's under-18 team romped into the Youth Olympics final when they beat Zambia 7-4 in Buenos Aires Sunday morning.
  They will play India for gold, after the Asian masters beat Argentina 3-1 in the other semifinals.
  And yet again, Akhimullah Anuar Esook was Malaysia's super-hero as he scored a hat-trick to take his personal tally to 20 goals.
  Akhimullah scored his first 30 seconds after the start, then in the eight minute and to cap a fine day, got his hat-trick 30 seconds from the end of time.
  The other goals were scored by Firdaus Rosdi (third, sixth), Muhibuddin Moharam (11th) and Syarman Mat Tee (12th).
  Zambia had upset Australia 6-4 in the quarter-finals, and were the revelation of the tournament.
  At the group stage, Malaysia had only lost to Argentina 4-2, while India had only lost to Australia 4-3.
  Assured of a medal, Malaysia must now play for gold in their maiden Youth Olympics appearance.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Youth Olympics: Malaysia v Zambia semi-finals

KUALA LUMPUR: Akhimullah Anuar Esook took Malaysia into the semi-finals of the Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires when he scored a brace in the 2-0 win against Austria Friday.
  Malaysia will now play Zambia, who beat Australia 6-4 in the other quarter-finals. It was a big surprise as Australia had topped Group B while Zambia had finished fourth in Group A and barely made the quarter-finals.
  Akhimullah scored in the 11th and 19th minutes, and Malaysia now have a good chance of advancing to the finals.
  For the record, Malaysia had beaten Zambia 7-2 in Group A.

SOJC; Juniors exact revenge.. but too late too little

KUALA KUMPUR: The Malaysian juniors exacted sweet revenge when they beat Japan 1-0 in the Sultan of Johor Cup at the Taman Daya Stadium Friday.
  And the winner was scored in the 58th minute by Muhajir Rauf, who connected home a floating reverse stick shot from Abu Kamal.
  The juniors did what the senior Malaysian side could not do at the Asian Games, where Japan came back from the dead to level the score at 6-6 with 20 seconds remaining, and then won gold on shoot-out.
  However the win came too little too late, as Malaysia ended with four points in the tournament and will play in the fifth-sixth playoff against New Zealand/Australia.
  "I hope the boys take home a good lesson from this match as we did almost everything right except score an early goal. Like I said before, we played for pride while Japan for a slot in the final and victory was ours.
  "It's never easy to play at the bottom placing matches, but I am sure my players will give their best again to avoid the last spot.
  The final will be between India and Britain, and in yesterday's last pool match, Britain edged India 3-2 to claim their spot.
  It was India's first defeat in the tournament and coach Jude Felix was furious as his boys were leading 1-0 and then 2-1 before collapsing.
  "We let Britain back into the match afer taking a lead twice, and we can't afford this attitude in the final," said Jude.
  In the eight editions, India has made the final five times and became champions twice in 2013 and 2014.
  RESULTS: India 2 Britain 3, Malaysia 1 Japan 0, Australia 4 New Zealand 0.
  SATURDAY -- Final: India v Britain (8.30pm); Third-Fourth: Japan v Australia (6pm); Fifth-Sixth: Malaysia v New Zealand (3.30pm).

OMAN ACT: Oltmans sets semis as early target..

KUALA KUMPUR: The Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) will field a mixed squad for the Asian Champions Trophy in Oman on Oct 18-28.
  The other teams in the fray are India, Pakistan, Oman, Japan and South Korea.
  Malaysia, who ended with a bronze in the last edition, will be coached by Roelant Oltmans who feels that even though penalty corner flicker Razie Rahim and midfielder Fitri Shaari are not on the list, there is no reason not to do well.
  "Even though Razie is out with a hamstring while Fitri wants to attend his University convocation, it has opened up an opportunity for others. We have a balanced squad and we are heading to Oman to give a good fight to all the other teams," said Oltmans.
  Malaysia will open accounts against Asian Games champions Japan, and Oltmans has set semifinals as an early target.
  "We will begin with a tough match against Japan, and it will be like the Asian Games final. We will first play to reach the semi-finals, and from there aim higher," said Oltmans.
  MALAYSIA -- S. Kumar (gk), Hairi Rahman (gk), Shukri Mutalib, Syed Syafiq Syed Cholan, Faiz Helmi, Najib Hassan, Nabil Fiqri, Marhan Jalil, Azri Hassan, Meor Azuan, Joel Samuel, Norsyafiq Sumantri, 
Firhan Ashari, Amirol Aideed, Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin, Faizal Saari, 
Nik Aiman, Shahril Saabah.
  Malaysia's fixtures: Oct 18: Malaysia v Japan (10.55pm); Oct 20: Malaysia v Oman (1.10am); Oct 22: Malaysia v South Korea (10.55pm); Oct 24: Malaysia v India (1.10am); Oct 25: Malaysia v Pakistan (10.55pm).

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

SOJC 2018: Malaysia's top guns invited for seminar...

KUALA LUMPUR: Several prominent personalities will present papers at the Sports Administrators Seminar organised by the Johor Hockey Association (JHA) on Oct 12-13.
  The seminar, held in conjunction with the 8th Sultan of Johor Cup will see the likes of Asian Football Confederation (AFC) secretary general Datuk Windsor Paul as well as Malaysian Football League Chief Executive Officer Kevin Ramalingam sharing their experience on administration and marketing with the participants.
  Other speakers who have agreed to grace the seminar are Dato Sieh Kok Chi (Former general secretary of Olympic Council of Malaysia), Dr. Vella Pandian (Head of Podium Programme ISN), K. Maheswari (Former hockey captain and vice president of KLHA), Dr Nadhratul Wardah Salman  (Faculty  of Law, University Malaya) and NSC Head of Career and Education for Athletes Safwan Radzi.
  All the 16 state Hockey bodies were invited to send one participant with the cost of board and lodging borne by JHA. It was also extended to all district hockey associations in Johor as well.
  “We are grateful to the speakers for consenting to present papers at the seminar,” said JHA acting president Datuk Manjit Majid Abdullah.
  “Sadly though many states did not respond and to me it is a wasted opportunity as the seminar would have provided insights into professional administration,
  “However those who are attending will no doubt benefit from it.”
   The opening of the seminar will be officiated by the OCM General Secretary Datuk Mohamad Nazifuddin on Friday.
   Those who are keen to attend can contact JHA vice president  Ir. Azhar  (+60 12-707 2774 ).

Monday, October 8, 2018

Nor Saiful: My boys not ready yet...

PIC: Malaysia v Australia. Down but not out...

KUALA LUMPUR: Juniors coach Nor Saiful Zaini admitted Monday half his team is far from ready to play at the international level.
  This came about after Malaysia were humiliated 6-1 by Australia in the Eighth Edition of the Sultan of Johor Cup at the Taman Daya Stadium in Johor Baru on Sunday.
  The hammering came at the back of a 2-1 defeat to India, and Malaysia will square off against New Zealand today.
  "Not ready. Nine of my players are making their international debut, and even though they played well in the recent China Tour, they could not cope with what Australia dished out," said the former Olympian.
  Malaysia, like India and Australia, had to send their best Under-18 players for the ongoing Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires but it looks like the other two teams have depth on the bench.
  "Yes, we sorely miss the eight players who are in Buenos Aires, and even though I don't want to use that as an excuse, it did weaken our team.
  "Those included for SOJC are not ready," stressed Nor Saiful.
  The Youth Olympics is a Hockey 5s event, and Malaysia hammered minnows Vanuatu 14-0 in their opening match and will play Mexico next.
  The SOJC team is part of Malaysia's Junior World Cup Qualifier side, with the other half in Argentina.
  "However, looking at the bright side, I hope my players will use the SOJC as a learning curve and understand that they must put in what they practised or get hammered.
  "We played open hockey against Australia because I did not want to hold back the boys at the juniors stage.
  "Now we are left with no option but to beat New Zealand and then Japan to finish among the top-four."
  For the record, the last time Malaysian juniors played the Kiwis was at the Uttar Pradesh Junior World Cup in 2016. Malaysia held them to a 1-1 draw at halt-time, but lost 3-1 in the 9th-12th placing match.
  As for Japan, they have been on fire in the SOJC beating defending champions Australia and silver medallists Britain by 2-1 margins, and Malaysia will face another uphill match against them.
  TUESDAY: Australia v Britain (4.05pm); India v Japan (6.05pm); New Zealand v Malaysia (8.35pm).
  NOTE: All matches at Taman Daya Hockey Stadium and telecast live over RTM.


              P  W  D  L  F  A  pts
INDIA         2  2  0  0  9  2  6
JAPAN         2  2  0  0  4  2  6
AUSTRALIA     2  1  0  1  7  3  3
BRITAIN       2  1  0  1  4  4  3
MALAYSIA      2  0  0  2  2  8  0
NEW ZEALAND   2  0  0  2  3  10 0

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Vanuatu humbled...

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian men's hockey team went on a rampage when they hammered Vanuatu 14-0 in the Third Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires.
  Malaysia next play Mexico on Monday followed by Zambia on Tuesday and are expected to win by big margins as well.
  Their only challenge at the group stage is expected to come from hosts Argentina on Wednesday, followed by Poland the next day.
  Akhimullah Anuar Esook top-scored with seven goals (4th, 6th, 8th, 14th, 15th, 20th, 20th). Noor Firdaus Rosdi and Muhibuddin Moharam scored two each, while Amirul Hamizan Azahar, Arif Syafie Ishak and Syarman Mat Tee scored one each.

Sultan of Johor Cup: Humiliating Hammering...

By Jugjet Singh

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia failed to find their footing yet again, when they lost 6-1 to Australia in the Eighth Edition of the Sultan of Johor Cup Sunday.
   The hosts had lost to India 2-1 on Saturday, and after a day's rest will play New Zealand on Tuesday.
  Malaysia's solitary goal was scored by Haikal Hasrin in the 37th minute, while Australia's goals were scored by Hayden Beltz (eighth), Alec Rasmussen (26th), Damon Steffens (44th), Jake Staines (45th),  
Coby Green (53rd) and Damon Steffens (54th).
  In another match, Japan continued their giant killing spree when they beat silver medallist Britain 2-1.
  This hard fought win came at the back of a 2-1 victory over defending champions Australia at the Taman Daya Stadium in Johor Baru on Saturday.
  Japan scored two early goals and then kept the 2015 champions at bay for the rest of the game.
  Kosei Kawabe (10th) and Raiki Fujishima (29th) scored for Japan whilem the Britain goal was delivered by Stuart Rushmere (30th).
  India hammered New Zealand 7-1 with goals from Prabhjot Singh (sixth), Shilanand Lakra (15th, 43rd), Harmanjit Singh (21st), Mohamed Faraz (23th), Abhishek (50th) and Mandeep Mor (60th).
  The Kiwi consolation was scored by Sam Hiha in the 53rd minute.
  Britain coach Jon Bleby gave credit to the Japanese for their good display.
  “Japan is a good team and played very well. They took their chances and made sure their defensive play was up to mark.
  “I must say that we too had a good game and was in the match at the fourth quarter to get the goals. But unfortunately, we failed to finish the moves we created,” he said.  
  Japanese coach Hiroki Sakamoto said: "It was a good performance and we played much better than the first game (against Australia). Still, there are several areas for us to improve on. We want to keep the momentum going into the next match.
  After a days rest, Japan will try and upset India.
  RESULTS: Japan 2 Britain 1; India 7 New Zealand 1; Australia 6 Malaysia 1.
  TUESDAY: Australia v Britain (4.05pm); India v Japan (6.05pm); New Zealand v Malaysia (8.35pm).
  NOTE: All matches at Taman Daya Hockey Stadium and telecast live over RTM.


              P  W  D  L  F  A  pts
INDIA         2  2  0  0  9  2  6
JAPAN         2  2  0  0  4  2  6
AUSTRALIA     2  1  0  1  7  3  3
BRITAIN       2  1  0  1  4  4  3
MALAYSIA      2  0  0  2  2  8  0
NEW ZEALAND   2  0  0  2  3  10 0

Now Japan slay Britain...

Pic: India hammer New Zealand 7-1

KUALA LUMPUR: Japan continued their giant killing spree in the Eighth Edition of the Sultan of Johor Cup when they beat silver medallist Britain 2-1 Sunday.
  This hard fought win came at the back of a 2-1 victory over defending champions Australia at the Taman Daya Stadium in Johor Baru on Saturday.
  Japan scored two early goals and then kept the 2015 champions at bay for the rest of the game.
  Kosei Kawabe (10th) and Raiki Fujishima (29th) scored for Japan whilem the Britain goal was delivered by Stuart Rushmere (30th).
  In another match, India hammered New Zealand 7-1 with goals from Prabhjot Singh (sixth), Shilanand Lakra (15th, 43rd), Harmanjit Singh (21st), Mohamed Faraz (23th), Abhishek (50th) and Mandeep Mor (60th).
  The Kiwi consolation was scored by Sam Hiha in the 53rd minute.
  Britain coach Jon Bleby gave credit to the Japanese for their good display.
  “Japan is a good team and played very well. They took their chances and made sure their defensive play was up to mark.
  “I must say that we too had a good game and was in the match at the fourth quarter to get the goals. But unfortunately, we failed to finish the moves we created,” he said.  
  Japanese coach Hiroki Sakamoto said: "It was a good performance and we played much better than the first game (against Australia). Still, there are several areas for us to improve on. We want to keep the momentum going into the next match.
  After a days rest, Japan will try and upset India.
  RESULTS: Japan 2 Britain 1; India 7 New Zealand 1; Australia x Malaysia x.
  TUESDAY: Australia v Britain (4.05pm); India v Japan (6.05pm); New Zealand v Malaysia (8.35pm).
  NOTE: All matches at Taman Daya Hockey Stadium and telecast live over RTM.


              P  W  D  L  F  A  pts
INDIA         2  2  0  0  9  2  6
JAPAN         2  2  0  0  4  2  6
BRITAIN       2  1  0  1  4  3  3
MALAYSIA      1  0  0  1  1  2  0
AUSTRALIA     1  0  0  1  1  2  0
NEW ZEALAND   2  0  0  2  3  10 0

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Malaysia go down tamely

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia lived dangerously and were punished by India 2-1 in the Eighth Edition of the Sultan of Johor Cup at the Taman Daya Stadium in Johor Baru Saturday.
  India took a 12th minute lead off Harmanjit Singh and made it 2-0 in the 47th minute when Shilanand Lakra was on target.
  However, a brilliant reverse stick shot from Hafizhuddin Zaidi, also in the 47th minute, could not inject the much needed fire and Malaysia went down tamely in front of their own fans.
  RESULTS: Britain 3 New Zealand 2; Australia 1 Japan 2; Malaysia 1 India 2.
  SUNDAY: Japan v Britain (4.05pm); India v New Zealand (6.05pm); Australia v Malaysia (8.35pm).
  NOTE: All matches at Taman Daya Hockey Stadium and telecast live over RTM.


              P  W  D  L  F  A  pts
BRITAIN       1  1  0  0  3  2  3
JAPAN         1  1  0  0  2  1  3
INDIA         1  1  0  0  2  1  3
MALAYSIA      1  0  0  1  1  2  0
AUSTRALIA     1  0  0  1  1  2  0
NEW ZEALAND   1  0  0  1  2  3  0

Japan slay Australia

PIC: Japan v Australia.

KUALA LUMPUR: Silver medallists Britain started their campaign in the eighth edition of the Sultan of Johor Cup with a clinical 3-2 win over New Zealand Saturday.
  In another match, Japan surprised defending champions Australia when they beat them 2-1.
  Britain, champions in 2015 could have won the game easily but faltered after taking a two-goal lead. 
  But a goal in the 35th minute saw them clinch a narrow win.
  Mathew Ramshaw scored a field goal off a quick counter-attack in the fourth minute, while the other Britain goals were scored by Cameron Golden (12th) and Edward Way (35th).
  New Zealand goals came off Maks Wyndham-Smith (23rd) and Jordan Ward (33rd).
  Britain coach Jon Belby was disappointed with his team’s defensive display as they allowed the Kiwis to come back from 2-0 down.
  “Overall, I must say that we controlled the game and had more chances. We should have won by a bigger margin. The defensive lapse cost us two goals and the match could have gone the other way.
  "I hope to see a better performance against Japan Sunday,” he added.
  New Zealand coach Collin Bryce said a draw would have been a fair result.
  “Yes, I would think we should have shared points with them. We came back strongly in the second and third quarters. But they were a shade better in the end. We will try and improve further as we go along,” he said.
  RESULTS: Britain 3 New Zealand 2; Australia 1 Japan 2; Malaysia 1 India 2.
  SUNDAY: Japan v Britain (4.05pm); India v New Zealand (6.05pm); Australia v Malaysia (8.35pm).
  NOTE: All matches at Taman Daya Hockey Stadium and telecast live over RTM.


BERNAMA -- KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 6: Cricket may be the second most popular sport in the world, but its growth in Malaysia is in peril after the only One-day International (ODI) ranked ground in the country, considered the best in South East Asia, is to be taken over for redevelopment.
  The iconic Kinrara Oval in Puchong, which once saw the actions of current and former Indian captains Virat Kohli and Sachin Tendulkar, both regarded as the best batsmen in the world, had been asked to close down.
  The Malaysian Cricket Association (MCA) were given a notice to vacate the ground, ‘the home of Malaysian cricket’ by the end of this month by the developer of the land.
  Despite more than 400 matches hosting thousands of cricketers from schools to international level held at the ground, the continuous development in Klang Valley, which had already sacrificed many football fields, looked set to continue at the one of the fastest drying cricket ground in the world.
  To show disagreement on the matter, more than 50 people from the cricket fraternity turned up at the ground bringing placards written “Don’t kill the game, save Kinrara Oval,” while many others took to social media platforms to show support for the ground using #SaveTheOval hashtags.
  MCA President Mahinda Vallipuram said losing Kinrara Oval, where MCA’s headquarters was located, would kill the development of the sport, which was growing rapidly in the country.
  “This is not just losing one ground, this is about the development of the sport in the country. Now we have more than 35,000 active cricketers at various levels playing the game, while our initiative with the Ministry of Education (MOE) for the past several years saw an increase in the number of cricket-playing schools in Malaysia to more than 800 from 250 four years ago.
  “Today we have about 800 school teachers with Level 0 and 1 coaching certificates. We are also saving at least half a million ringgit a year by having our players’ hostel here…All these work are been done and administered from our office and facilities located here.
   “Development of a sport does not happen in a short period of time, it needs 10 to 15 years to yield results. So what we are doing now is for the continuous development of the sport. So, we hope to solve this problem amicably,” he told Bernama when met at the ground.
  Mahinda said he had discussed the matter with the Youth and Sports Ministry’s secretary-general Datuk Lokman Hakim Ali and a meeting between MCA and the ministry would be held to find a solution.
  Meanwhile, one of the protesters, Mohamed Yusri Rauf, who was playing in the T20 Corporate League said the Kinrara Oval was more than a cricket playing ground for the cricketers.
  “It is like a home to us… We need to save this ground which is the national ground for Malaysian cricket since the past two decades. This is the only ODI ranked ground in South East Asia and the best in Asia outside the Test-playing Nations,” Mohamed Yusri, who was also a commentator, told reporters.
  The Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) Cricket Association Advisor, Lt Col (Rtd) Gerard Denis Singam said such sporting facilities must be saved for the development of sports in the country.
  “We are talking about winning medals in the Olympics and Asian Games but right down at grassroots level, we are not taking care of sports…This is small piece of land, everybody wants to take it, for what?
  “Let’s save it for cricket…. I was here when they started work on the ground in 2003, it was bare, just sand and grass. We built this oval to become one of the best in the region,” the founder of women’s cricket said.
  Among the tournaments hosted at the Kinrara oval were the 2008 Under-19 (U-19) World Cup, 2006-07 DLF Cup played between Australia, India and the West Indies (seven matches), 2017 ACC U-19 Asia Cup, 2017 SEA Games and ACC Women’s Asia Cup, while recently the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) picked the Kinrara Oval as its home to play its women’s limited-overs series against Australia on Oct 18-29.
  The Malaysian men’s team is ranked 27th in the world among 95 cricket playing nations, while at last year’s Kuala Lumpur SEA Games, Malaysia bagged a gold, silver and bronze medals.

Kinrara Oval in dire straits...

THE five-acre Kinrara Oval is set to be reclaimed by Permodalan Nasional Berhad on Oct 31 to build condominiums, but still, Malaysia Cricket Association (MCA) are keeping their fingers crossed for a miracle.
  And even though Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Rahman has yet to meet with MCA on the matter, it is said that he is working behind the scenes to stop this massacre of a sacred cricket ground.
  MCA honorary secretary Iqbal Ali Kassim Ali confirmed they receive an eviction notice dated Oct 31, but said the fight has just started.
  "We have met with the relevant authorities to try and solve the matter, but nothing is concrete yet. We are waiting to meet thje Sports Minister and hopefully he will have a solution on how to save the Kinrara Oval," said Iqbal.
  Former Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin had tweeted recently: "Please help @SyedSaddiq. I wrote to PNB as the land owner of the Oval to keep the grounds. One of my last few letters at KBS (Ministry of Sports). Also spoke to then Chairman. Hope you can follow up. Public funds used to upgrade for @KL2017. Now to be shut down and taken away."
  Syed Saddiq had replied: "We already filed our objection before. Met up with the reps as well. This iconic ground must be defended. 
Hopefully the new Chairman will hear our plight."
  The new PNB chairman is Former Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) governor Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz.
  Yesterday a group made up of residents around the Oval as well as young cricketers held a protest at the Oval by holding plycards. Some of them read 'Save Kinrara Oval' and 'Don't Kill The Game'.
  Iqbal said if the ground is snatched away, it will damage the future plans of MCA to make cricket a popular sport.
  "Around the globe, cricket is No 2 on viewership, and in Malaysia it is a strong team-sport and ranked world no 27 and we play in Division Four. If we lose the Oval, it will not help in our cause to make it a better team sport in Malaysia.
  "We are still working to stop the eviction order, and hopefully the Sports Minister can spare some time to meet us (MCA)," said Iqbal.