MHL 2020 uncertainty on teams, On and Off Nat Veterans is on again

With the closing date of the Malaysian Hockey League was Friday, November 8 at 13 noon as stipulated by the national body in the calling for entry.

So what are the numbers of teams for the tournament that is scheduled for January and February 2020?

With no information forthcoming, it is anyone’s guess for a tournament that has lost much of its original objective since its inception in 1987.

There was a limit on the number of teams to be fingered as eight, and anything beyond that needed to go for a qualifying tournament.

The mantra of “ quality over quantity” is still being enforced,

Already we know that three teams who were contemplating participation are not pursuing it.

Former champions Sapura, one of the pioneer teams Johor and newcomers Air Asia were toying with the idea for participating in the 2020 MHL.

The usual suspects – Terengganu Hockey Team, Maybank, UniKL, Tenaga Nasional Berhaf, Thunderbolt, Uitm and Nur Insafi.

It was that 7 that participated last year and it’s still unknown if any of the 7 have entered or pulled out.

And the calling for entry also did not indicate if there was any change to the number of foreign players allowed to register.

A team from Kuala Lumpur was initially said to be keen to participate but it has gone relatively quiet.

Interestingly there is also no indication that teams from Pahang, Selangor, Negeri Sembilan, Melaka or Sarawak will enter the MHL as they have officials nominated to helm top positions in the national body.

Conspicuously missing as well is any interest from Sabah whose President received the highest number of nomination as Vice President and could easily field a team as Sabah has many talented players.

That is also the case of Perlis, Kelantan and Penang whose officials received tremendous nominations .

So really it’s anyone’s guess as to how many teams have entered.

With the removal of the Division One, some 13 teams from 2018 were sent packing.

So let’s just wait to see how many play in the qualifiers, if any.

In the meantime the on and off National Veterans Tournament is on again.

Scheduled for 22-24 November at the National Hockey Stadium, the teams were informed that it was postponed to December.

However it is now learnt that nine teams have confirmed participation and it will go on as scheduled.