Hockey: Seniors need not wait to be dropped

The writing is on the wall for the seniors in the national Hockey team.

While the national coach singled out keeper S. Kumar who is nearly 40 for the chop, several others are also likely to be in the same scenario.

From a look at their ages, players in the likes of Tg Ahmad Tajuddin Tg Jalil. Shukri Mutalib, Nabil Fiqri Mohd Nor. Marhan Jalil, Razie Rahim , are all at the tail end of their careers.

But tradition cannot and should not be done overnight.

It is a gradual process, one that needs to be gone carefully and planned well.

The national team does not have any major event this year, except for the Azlan Shah Cup and the Asian Champions Trophy.

But with the introduction of the new FIH Ranking System, the matches cannot be taken lightly.

Every result matters and this is where the “ seniors” could come handy.

In 2021 is a crucial year as the Asia Cup is held, meaning an automatic berth to the 2022 World Cup.

To gain the automatic berth, Malaysia needs to be champions, any other result means a tedious process to the World League.

And a year later is the Asian Games, where the gold medal gets a berth in 2024 Paris Olympics.

So any purging of players must be done with the best of planning.

Will the seniors take the cue for a honourable discharge by announcing their retirement?

Or will they read about it in the papers when the rise up one morning?

It’s their decision, but looking at how Kumar was told point blank, best that they put in their papers and collect their retirement bonus.