Hockey: Azlan Shah Cup dates and teams decided

The 2021 edition of the Sultan Azlan Shah has been slated for June 18-27.

This was decided at a meeting between Perak Hockey Association and the national body on Saturday .

Conspicuously missing from the meeting was Dato Abdul Rahim Mat Arif who it was learnt was not invited.

Rahim was omitted despite being the organising chairman for the last 10 over years and involved in the tournament for the last 20 year odd years.

The dates were based upon recommendation of the national coach.

However what those who met failed to take into account was the fact that the Pro League grand finals have yet to be scheduled.

The Pro League round robin ends of May 31st.

With the Tokyo Olympics in late July, and the European Championships from 4-13 June in Amsterdam , there is doubts that the top European countries will participate.

A list of 8 countries were drawn up for invitation .

They are Canada, Argentine, Germany, Netherlands. Great Britain, India, Australia and host Malaysia.

Out of the 8, four Germany, Netherlands and Great Britain ( as England) are involved in the Euro Nations Cup.

Hence it is left to be seen if these teams will play 2 high level tournaments back to back.

Ironically though teams like Japan. South Korea, China and New Zealand were left out.

Let’s just wait and see who comes and who does not.

Want a suggestion?

Perhaps Singapore, Brunei, Thailand, Indonesia to replace them so coach and manager of national team can boast they won the Azlan Shah Cup for the first time since its inception in 1983.

Not a bad thought for Asean Solidarity and meeting targets.

And it will be a cemerlang outing.