CRISIS IN LTAM

An SMS sent by the President virtually ensured Malaysia’s demotion from Group 2 to Group 3 of the Davis Cup as the national team went down 3-2 to Pacific Oceania in the relegation play-off for the Asia-Oceania Zone.

And that has led coach S. Selvarajoo to go ahead with his decision to walk out of the top coaching job.

It seems that the president, who is away on a golfing trip down under had made it clear of his preference for Ariez Elyaas Deen Hashim in the reverse singles tie instead of the more experienced Adam Jaya.

And Ariez,who is trained in Spain lacked the class of Adam Malik and V.Selvam, who during their teen years were more skillful.

But interfering with the selection of the team is something that Malaysian sports associations often do and the coaches are left to bear the brunt of criticism instead of the administration taking the blame.

In thus case it was clear that LTAM did not allow Selvarajoo to do the job entrusted to him and hence his decision to relinquish his position that he held since 2009.

The diplomatic Selvarajoo tried to downplay the incident but confirmed that he was told by an LTAM official to field a particular player in the reverse singles.

In all fairness to Selvarajoo, the systematic removal of players in the national set-up with the exit of Razlan Raul, Ashaari Zainal and Jawariah Noordin left him with only Si Yew Meng to coach and that is hardly an situation any coach would want to be in.

LTAM boasts of trying to elevate the youngsters with training camps in Spain but from the performances on the court yesterday it was obvious that we lack quality and somewhat the players lack key ingredients like power, court craft, footwork and above all fitness.

Selavarajoo will now concentrate on developing kids, and he has adopted a young malay boy and two Indian girls from an orphanage to train in Kampung Pandan.

The project will start right away and in seven years time Selvarajoo hopes to have 16 players who will one day carry the challenge of the nation.

‘ Our current players lack the hunger to succeed and this is the vast difference from the past as we had to struggle through life,’ conceded Selvarajoo.

‘ With whatever little means I have, I hope to produce players who have the desire to succeed but are not given the opportunity due to their social standing.

‘ tennis should not be a game for the elite and I believe that kids from the orphanage have the desire to do well and have held trials from where I picked the initial three who I will look after like my own , giving them care and education as they strive to succeed as tennis players.’

Selvarajoo is in his own small way trying to do justice for tennis and if LTAM officials had any sense of accountability, then perhaps an enbloc resignation could pave the way for sincerity to take over.