Wednesday, April 27, 2016

MHL - Time to change

Much was promised for the 2016 MHL last year with a new look Competitions Committee formed and several Task Force groups formed to focus on certain national level tournaments.

Yes there were some changes, the inaugural Women's Junior Hockey League, the change of the Under 16 from a 11 a side to 9 a side and the introduction of the Women's Razak Cup, which in reality is a change of name from RNA Cup to Razak Cup and played simultaneously as the men's version.

But it is the MHL that the focus is on.

Looking at the calendar the MHL is scheduled to start after Sukma and must end by the first week of September, thus a period of six weeks.

No change here in terms of the duration of the MHL as for the past 3 years this has been the story.

The MHL has to end early September as the national team and the development team are playing in the Australian National League ( the Aussie version of Razak Cup)

And one must also remember that the Rio Olympics will be held in August.

But why the fuss as Malaysia  is  not playing at Rio!

Well the MHL parades foreign players and the other teams that have not made it to Rio are Korea and Pakistan. Oh yes before I forget, Bangladesh, Sti Lanka, Thailand, Singapore , Myanmar and Hong Kong.

So will the MHL see an influx of players from two countries at the most or second rate players from other countries?

If that is the case then why hold the MHL in the first place? Why rush it over a period of six weeks? Why are we providing a platform for second rate players from overseas to benefit?

It seems the Competitions Committee will meet in May to come up with the ideas and plans for the MHL.

The MHL has the potential, make no mistake about it as its a strong marketing tool for the national body, it showcases our best players.

Maybe for this year that's what it should be - only local players to feature in the MHL.

Let's develop our own instead of developing players from other countries.

A level playing field may make the MHL all the more interesting.

Friday, April 22, 2016

A year on....

Today marks a year my life changed as started dialysis due to Kidney failure. It has been a tough year with two cornea transplants as well. Friends and family distanced themselves as I plodded on, many a time confined to my room, hapless as the world went by. In terms of finance it put a strain as I have not been gainfully employed for the past year. Even in the field of Hockey those in power discarded my work to help their own. Self belief and help of some very kind people helped me through this trying time. The battle has not been won as the war has just started but I will plod on as I have to given the fact I have an 84 year old dad to look after. Broken promises by those who claimed they would help were plenty but I took it in my stride as I told myself my kidneys did not work but these people were in a more sorry state as their brains stopped working. To all those who helped me over the journey for the past year, suffice to say you know who you are, and God will reward you. To those who turned your backs, I pray you find peace. And those who were and still out to destroy me, I beg Gods forgiveness for you.  

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Whose domain to sanction

Before talking about imposing sanction fee on the Azlan Shah Cup and Sultan Johor Cup, the MHC should look at the procedures - who actually provides sanction to this two events.

It is the FIH that gives the sanction as it is a tournament that comprises of teams from various continents, thus a global affair.

And from what little is known FIH does not charge any sanction fee as it has discretion over it.

Coming back to the question of AHF, they have every right to charge a sanction fee for tournaments under their auspices within the continent.

The move by MHC could have a spiral effect as now state HA's could start imposing sanction fee on their affiliates and it might get out of control.

There are cases where sanction fee is charged by a national body in Malaysia but it is for events or matches that are Organised by event management companies or promoters,

Here these two events are Organised by the affiliates of MHC so really why the issue of imposing sanction fee.

And with regard to the nominal fee, does MZhC really need that token to do development of the sport in the country?

So one has now to assume why sanction fee is to be imposed as two wrongs cannot make one right.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Sasc - Locals Snubbed

UThere is an old saying - when you pay peanuts, you get monkeys.

But there seems to be a lull on the question, when you hire monkeys, what does one get?

Well let's leave that aside and turn our attention to something that caught my eye during the Azlan Shah Cup that ended on Sunday.

While it was the 25th edition of the event, some have obviously not learnt from mistakes made in the past or make an effort to correct things.

Let's not even go to the fact that the souvenir program book came out a day before the final and was pathetic to say the least as it contained nothing worthy. And it may soon be a issue for the courts as there was plagiarism with articles reproduced without permission.

What irks me is the lack of protocol by the Organising Committee and scant respect to the locals.

Why on earth was a paid employee of AHF Tayab Ikram given so much prominence, by being seated next to the Perak Chief Minister during a match and being called upon to present the prizes to the third placed Trans?

Why were officials of the MHC not given the due respect they deserved as rightfully Perak HA is an affiliate of the MHC!!

Such blatant disregard for protocol is an embarrassmentto the nation as much more needed to be done.

For instance former Perak international players who represented the nation at the Azlan Shah Cup could have been invited to present the individual awards.

Players such as Foo Keat Seong, Ahmad Fadzil, Mohd Sayuti, MA Sambu, Nor Saiful Zaibi, Tai Beng Hai... And the list goes on and on.

What has AHF contributed to the tournament directly or indirectly? Nothing one could say Abd yet they get more prominence then the local body.

Perak HA must be accountable for snubbing the local heir achy and such actions should never be allowed to happen in future.

Ab apology to MHC is the correct thing to do.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

India withdraw from SOJC

India has withdrawn from the 2016 Sultan Johor Cup despite having confirmed its participation earlier.

India have been regular participants of the tournament since its inception in 2011 and it had helped in producing players like Manpreet Singh, Harjit Singh and Hermanpreet Singh amongst others.

The 6th edition of the SOJC is scheduled to be held from the 31st of October till  6th November at the Taman Daya Hockey Stadium Johor Baru.

In its place the Organisers, the Johor Hockey Association have invited Japan.

" It is surprising that India has opted to stay out of the tournament this year," said JHA Deputy President Manjit Majid Abdullah who is also MHC Vice President.

" All I know is that they have withdrawn and all questions as to why should be directed to Hockey India."

Manjit added that it 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 Great Brotain defeated India in a shoot-out in last years final.

Malaysia is expected to field its development squad coached by Wallace Tan since the junior team was disbanded after failing to qualify for the Junior World Cup later this year via the Junior Asia Cup in Kuantan last November where they finished fifth.

Joining the Force

Having served the nation on the Hockey pitch, four players will  now serve the country in a different uniform.

The four - national skipper Mohd Razie Rahim, Nabil Fiqri Mohd Nor,  Farah Ayuni  Yahya and  Noor Hasliza Md Ali will be reporting for training as Police Inspectors with the Royal Malaysian Police on May 8.

And it's not just players as international umpire Norasyikin and Saruddin was also successful in joining the force.

While this will mean that the four will not be able to represent the nation for at least nine months as they will be undergoing training, this will ensure that the players wil have a life Long career to fall back upon after their playing days are over.

MHC Vice President and Coaching Chairman Dato Ow Soon Kooi was instrumental in convincing the players to join PDRM.

Being a former police inspector himself, having donned national Colours for 11 years and captaining the team for 4 years, Dato Ow is well aware of the fact that having a good career will help the players develop their game.

"This will give them a professional career and life after their playing days are over," said Dato Ow who is today a successful businessman.

" I must thank the Inspector General  Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar and   Dato  Seri Zulkifli  Abdullah the Director of Management of PDRM for giving an opportunity to qualified national players to join the force.

' This is an effort by PDRM to help sports development and we are grateful to them. The MHC is grateful and thankful that our players and officials are given an opportunity to serve the nation in a different capacity."

Razie and Nabil will not be available for tournaments such as the Australian League and the Asian Champions Trophy this year.

As for the girls they will miss the World League around 2 that Malaysia is to host on a date yet to be determined by FIH.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

A Tribute to HRH

Please click on this link to view a video clip in tribute of Almahrum Sultan Azlan Shah that was aired at the Official Dinner of the tournament.

I was involved in the planning, interviews and editing of the video and thank Kim who is from the production company for their patience.

I thank all those interviewed in this video, Tan Sri Alagendra, Dato Viji, Dato Ow, Mirnawan Nawawi and Mike.

A special thanks to Dhanraj Pillay who spared time to do the interview in KL.

Please note that I never asked or was paid for this effort as it was my way to thank HRH who I believed was the best thing ever to happen to Malaysian Hockey. 

Azlan Shah 2016 Updates

For updates on the Azlan Shah Cup please visit

I update this site daily despite my health condition, catching all three games on match days on TV and rescheduling my dialysis in order to provide a service to Hockey fans.

While others get paid for it, I am driven by passion, something money cannot buy or match in terms of delivery.

The site averages 5k hits daily and one can follow live updates on the Twitter @azlancup.