All the news for Sunday 29 May 2011
Beng Hai to give more match time to Izzat, Firhan in Moscow
By AFTAR SINGH
KUALA LUMPUR: Youngsters Mohd Firhan Ashaari and Mohd Izzat Mohd Rahim will be getting more match time in a four-nation hockey tournament in Moscow from June 20-26.
The duo made their international senior team debut in the recent seven-nation Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh and national coach Tai Beng Hai said that they showed good potential when given the chance to play for short periods.
“They need to be given more time to play for the national team and I will give them the opportunities in Moscow. I hope they will bring out their best in the tournament,” he said.
Malaysia’s opponents in the tournament are Russia, Ukraine and South Africa.
Firhan had the chance to play in all six matches in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup tournament. The 18-year-old Terengganu-born forward also featured for Bandar Penawar Sports School (BPSS)-Thunderbolt in the Malaysian Junior Hockey League MJHL, which ended recently, and was named as the best player of the tournament.
Midfielder Izzat is a graduate from the Malaysia team for the Junior World Cup Finals in Johor Baru in 2009. The 22-year-old also played for Sapura in the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL), which ended in March.
Beng Hai said that the four-nation tournament would provide good exposure for the other young players in the team.
Among them are Mohd Azammi Adabi, Faiz Helmi Jali, Mohd Mohd Fitri Abu Bakar, Shahrin Mohamad, Mohd Azri Hassan and Mohd Rashid Baharom.
There are 25 players in the training squad and 18 players will be named for the outing in Moscow.
Beng Hai added that defender Mohd Amin Rahim, who is the country’s top exponent in the penalty corner drag flick, has fully recovered from a knee injury, which he picked up in the MHL in March.
“We need his services in the four-nation tournament,” he said.
In the Sultan Azlan tournament, Malaysia finished last and execution of the penalty corners was very poor, converting only one goal in six matches.
For the tournament in Moscow, South Africa are the highest ranked team at No. 12 in the world. Malaysia are ranked 15th followed by Russia (22nd) and Ukraine (33rd).
The Star of Malaysia
KL overcome Juniors scare
KUALA Lumpur survived an early scare to beat Project 2017 6-4 in the Central Zone Razak Cup qualifiers at the Ministry of Education stadium yesterday.
The Project side, an Under-16 outfit, were level at 2-2 by the 26th minute, but a second half blitz saw them crumbling.
The KL goals were scored by national penalty corner flicker Razie Rahim (third, 43rd, 54th), Kelvinder Singh (18th) and Faizal Kamaruddin (36th, 38th).
The Project boys scored off Najmi Farizal (24th), Hafif Elkan (26th, 50th) and Firdaus Omar (66th).
"We could have done better but the team lack high level matches and missed sitters. However, the match against KL is what I was looking for as I wanted to see how they cope with pressure when playing against national and also established players," said Project 2017 coach Lim Chiow Chuan.
RESULTS -- North Zone: Penang 3 Armed Forces 2, Perlis 4 Kedah 2; Central Zone: Kuala Lumpur 6 Project 2017 4, Selangor 0 Perak 4
Today -- North Zone (matches at USM Stadium): Perlis v Armed Forces (5pm), Penang v Kedah (7pm);
Central Zone (matches at Education Ministry Pitch): Perak v Project 2017 (6.30pm), Kuala Lumpur v Selangor (8.30pm).
New Straits Times
Uttarakhand thrashes HP in national hockey championship
Uttarakhand thrashed Himachal Pradesh 9-2 in a Pool ‘A’ match on the second day of the U-17 junior national hockey boys’ championship at the MHA Mahindra Stadium on Saturday. The battle of the mountainous states turned into a complete one-sided affair as strikers Imran Khan and Raju Pal scored a hat-trick and brace respectively.
The huge margin of their victory increased Uttarakhand’s chances of qualifying pre-quarterfinals from their pool after their opening day 7-1 defeat to hosts Mumbai. The opening minutes saw a duel between Pal and the Himachal goalie Yogesh Patel. It took Uttarakhand only four minutes to open the scoring through Pal, but the lead could have been much larger if it wasn’t for a dozen brave saves from Patel.
After opening their account in the game Uttarakhand were put on the back foot by the aggressive Himachal players for the next quarter of an hour. Eventually parity was restored in the 18th minute with Siva Shahu scoring from a penalty corner. It took Uttarakhand only six minutes to regain the lead as Ajit Negi scored from a close range shot. Imran got his first goal in the 28th minute when he beat two Himachal defenders and took a powerful reverse shot and took his side into the half time break with a 3-1 lead.
Himachal started strongly at the beginning of the second period just as they did in the first but were unable to add to their tally despite winning a number of short corners. Uttarakhand chose to defend their lead by soaking up the pressure and hitting their opponents’ on the counter. Imran scored his second goal on one such counter attacks.
The move originated when he picked up the ball on the half line and involved a number of give-and-go moves before a simple tap-in. This goal completely deflated the Himachal players and they failed to hold their shape in the rest of the game as their opponents lined up to take shots at their goal. Imran completed his hat-trick once again showing the ability to hit a powerful reverse hit.
Results: Rajasthan 15 (CS Bishnoi 11, M Khokhar 2, M Singh 2) bt Puducherry 0; Mumbai 12 (J Nunes 5, A Walmiki 3, R Keisham, G Ranjit, A Rai, N Pujari) bt Baroda DHA 2 (S Pathak 2); Kerala 1(V Muraleedharan) drew with Hyderabad 1 (M Kiran); Uttarakhand 9 (I Khan 3, R Pal 2, A Negi, P Kumar, V Pant, V Singh) bt Himachal Pradesh 2 (Komal, K Chand)
Destination Ipoh (III)
By Zakir Hussain Syed
Malaysia has been like a second home for me ever since I was based there for three years as Cricket Development Manager Asian Cricket Council in 2002 before resigning. I first went to Malaysia in 1975 as a TV commentator to cover the World Cup Hockey. I have seen Malaysia grow from a small time state to one of the most important countries in Asia with an economy that is one of the most prosperous in Asia and also at international level. Despite presence of nearly half a dozen ethnic components, the Malaysian society is so tolerant that no ethnic group feels threatened. Former Prime Minister Mahatir Mohammad deserves credit for guiding a small nation to not only economic prosperity but making it the tourist hub of the world with tourists from Middle East and Australia thronging Kuala Lumpur.
However, this economic prosperity has brought an increase in crime rate and lawlessness. Even FairPark Hotel in Ipoh, which had been selected by the organisers as Media Hotel was not safe. This hotel is very convenient because of its close proximity to Sultan Azlan Shah Hockey Stadium. Somebody broke into the room of Sandeep Nakai; our colleague from India and chairman AIPS Hockey Commission, and stole his laptop and camera. The tragic aspect of this theft was the extremely valuable data in his laptop including the thesis on which he was working. The young manager of this hotel behaved more like a police officer than a hospitality manager.
I was myself nearly run over by a motorcyclist on a footpath. Extreme traffic congestion notwithstanding, quite a few roadside eating houses placed their tables on the footpaths especially in the evenings which makes it difficult for pedestrians and with the remnants of food thrown all around, the filth at many places especially in central Kuala Lampur and bazaars near World Trade Center are spoiling the surroundings. Purse snatching is on the rise. However, despite these small irritations, the friendliness of the people is heart warming and one finds most Malaysians helpful and pleasant to talk to. Mountbatten Hotel near the central railway station in Kuala Lampur is a reminder of the colonial heritage of Malaysia.
Ipoh reminds one of Model Town Lahore in the early 1960s with large spacious houses and green areas. Model Town Lahore was one of the few settlements in Lahore which had well preserved hockey, cricket and football grounds along with badminton and tennis courts in Model Town Club. It now has a beautiful park. Similarly Ipoh has retained its rustic beauty with large open spaces, green areas and playgrounds specially hockey and football grounds which are crowded in the evenings. My four journalist colleagues from India included a woman who is one of the few femala hockey journalists in the world, the other one who is a real professional is of course the charming Susan Edgehill from England. The Indian girl Uthra Ganesan looks like a stern schoolteacher most of the times until she smiles and then she is different altogether. We used to have a female hockey journalist by the name of Farhana Ayaz who was doing quite well until her migration to America. I wish Pakistan had more female sports journalists.
This time Sultan Azlan Shah Tournament was one of the most fiercely contested with fairly high standard being exhibited throughout the tournament. This is how international events should be. For Pakistan, the performance of their hockey team was encouraging but as I said at the start, they have a long and difficult climb back to the top.
(Zakir Hussain Syed is Pakistan’s internationally renowned sports administrator, sports broadcaster and sports analyst)
The Daily Times