Badminton : Giving Credit Where It’s Justified

It was a week ago when i write the story in the possibility of Badminton layers returning to court on June 1.

It was through a WhatsApp conversation with Badminton Association of Malaysia Dato Seri Norza Zakaria that I found out about plans that the national body had to appeal for a return to the courts for at least the elite players.

Of course Norza said this was subject to clearance from the National Security Council after vetting by the Ministry of Health.

And the justification was simple – that it was to assist the players prepare for the Olympic Qualification process.

Hence my next question was , will the independent players be invited as well to join the training at Bukit Kiara.

Norza went quiet for a while for sending a long test, citing this must be given a thought and now was the matter of crossing one brief DFR first

As usual my contention was simple , why not, they are our players after all.

But I knew that Norza was in a sticky position, as one part of him wanted to but in the other hand it was the sensitive nature of the whole idea.

Certain quarters in BAN view clubs as a threat, independent players as traitors to their cause.

And there has been bad blood between BAM as well as independent players dating back to the 1990’s

Who can forget the Nusa Magsuri episodes, then came KLRC and followed by Purple League.

Of late there was this great idea of the introduction of sanction fee for tournaments at state level and also charging process fees for submission of entries via certain states for international players.

However after a good long week, I received a via WhatsApp a media release, quoting Norza to say that BAM will allow independent players to spar twice a week from July.

There is now light at the end of the tunnel and Norza’s change of mind left even me, his harshest critic bewildered.

He pulled out an ace when all the cards were stacked against him.

What made him change his mind we will never know but the very fact that he was willing to break barriers and give this a try shows that Norza is not a dictatorial person he often is made out up be.

Once he had, rather sheepishly as the incident did not warrant it, that rules are not carved in stone.

And for the bigger picture of Badminton these very words would have riveted in his mind as he sat down in all probability to do his daily “ Terawih” prayers

Yes there are issues that need to be ironed out like sponsors sentiments and so forth.

But with one press release, Norza has somewhat doused the fire that was burning for the past 30 years or so.

Now is the time to work towards the rise of Malaysian Badminton – together we can do it.