Norza: No place for Boon Heong in Thomas Cup squad

Tan Boon Heong(left and his former doubles partner, Koo Kien Keat -- Malay Mail pic
Tan Boon Heong(left and his former doubles partner, Koo Kien Keat -- Malay Mail pic

KUALA LUMPUR, March 3 — The Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) will not consider the inclusion of professional doubles player Tan Boon Heong in the national squad for the Thomas Cup in May.

This is after the former world number one doubles player refused an offer by BAM to rejoin the national badminton squad.

BAM president Datuk Seri Mohamad Norza Zakaria said a series of discussions were held with Boon Heong, including proposing a counter offer to the player.

‘However, as of the deadline yesterday, Boon Heong refused our offer,’ he told reporters after chairing the BAM Board meeting here, today.

Meanwhile, Mohamad Norza said he was confident with the planning done by the national squad, especially the men’s doubles team for the upcoming Thomas Cup.

He said BAM’s honorary secretary and manager of the Thomas Cup squad Datuk Ng Chin Chai would also hold talks with men’s doubles coach Cheah Soon Kit to find the best solution for the squad’s preparation.

‘We are confident with our own plan which also includes (doubles coach) Paulus (Firman) in the team.

‘We will focus on strengthening the existing doubles players, because it is important for us to have a strong doubles pair for the Thomas Cup,’ he said.

Mohamad Norza said a Thomas and Uber Cup central training camp would be held two weeks ahead of the competition, scheduled to take place from May 20 to 27.

At the meeting today, BAM handed over a grant of RM251,000 to state associations for development of the sport, and RM90,000 for organising tournaments.

Apart from this, he said, an allocation of RM12,000 per month was provided to state associations to pay coaches and RM1,500 to purchase shuttlecocks. — Bernama

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