The Malaysian Hockey League is a third class tournament, fast losing its glamour as the premier hockey tournament in the country.
There are several factors that led to this conclusion but one of the most apparent is if it's actually a league or a lick!
The idea of holding the MHL is to have a LEAGUE competition amongst clubs in the country and not break up teams into groups as being practiced now.
Even when the number of teams was 14 or 16, the competition used to be a one round league and no breaking up into groups as the case today.
The so called learnerd personalitiesin the Competitions Committee obviously do not understand what a league is.
And stating that time did not permit running a league shows they have not looked at the matter seriously enough.
When entries were called, the format stated that teams were invited to participate in a league competition with a round robin format.
So why give the clubs an option after that and lay the blame on the clubs for a shortened competition?
Are the clubs allowed to also dictate the prize money for the MHL? Obviously not!
Then we have the inclusion of hordes of second class foreign players in the MHL as once again the Executive Board of MHC failed to excercise caution.
Are we the developmentarm for Pakistan Hockey these days as some 19 Pakistani players are representing 5 clubs in the Premier League.
There must be a qualifying standard for the inclusion of the foreign players - such as limiting the numbers and also that they must be current internationals, not those who are older then some of the team managers in the MHL.
Next we have the failure of the Media and PR Committee to ensure the top tournament is accorded telecast time on either terrestrial TV or pay TV.
It is hugely embarrassing to note that the Charity Shield was not shown live when some lesser sports in the country manage to get their tournaments to be shown live.
Even state circuits in badminton are live and thus the Media and PR Chairman should resign for a major blunder on her part.
Even the newspapers call it the MHL and not the TNBMHL thus not giving any PR value to the sponsors TNB who pump in millions for a league that is run like a kampung competition.
Fellow blogger Jugjet described that attendance of 300 people in the opening day as dismal, but that is the start of the problems.
The MHL is a cash cow for MHC but is now the grazing field for old cows as it's no longer developmentthat MHC cares for but the millions that they can milk from TNB.
May the lick run and die a natural death.