Azlan Shah Cup 2019, South Africa withdraws?

In what can be deemed as a bitter blow, South Africa has reportedly withdrawn from the 28th edition of the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup.

The toourbanent is scheduled to be held from March 23 to 30 at the Azlan Shah Stadium in Ipoh

Six teams had initially confirmed participation with the others being India, Canada, Japan, South Korea and hosts Malaysia.

Checks with contacts in South Africa revealed that no preparations had been conducted in terms of training by its national team.

The 2019 edition was already under scrutiny for the quality of trans being invited as its normally participated by top Hockey playing teams.

However with the Pro League clashing with the Azlan Shah Cup, several regulars like Australia. Great Britain and New Zealand opted to give it a miss.

Ireland withdrew from the tournament a month before it began and was replaced by South Africa.

It is learnt that an approach was made to get China to participate but they too declined, probably due to short notice.

It is further learnt an invited has been extended to Poland.

Several other teams could be considered like Scotland, Wales , Egypt, USA and Austria.

The Azlan Shah Cup was inaugurated in 1983 and was the brainchild of HRH Sultan Azlan Shah who was the President if Malaysian Hockey and Asian Hockey Federation.