KUALA LUMPUR: The postponement of the Sabah Open has put some non-national badminton players in a fix.
The Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) have decided to move the opening leg of the Maybank National Circuit, which was supposed to be from May 7-11, to a later date in order to have the Thomas-Uber Cup Finals motivation, team building and training camp then.
The camp is expected to be held in Penang and most of the top players are expected to attend to prepare for the Finals in New Delhi from May 18-25.
The national body’s last minute move however has irked club players, especially those who had booked their flights and already paid for their accommodation in Kota Kinabalu.
One surprised and frustrated club representative expressed unhappiness, saying, “The national body are aware of the schedule from the start of the year and know that the Sabah Open and Thomas-Uber Cup Finals will be held in the same month. Why change now and not earlier?”
The Sabah Open is also one of two local tournaments that provide an opportunity for club players to gauge their standard against national players. The second leg is scheduled to be held in Perak from Oct 7-12.
Selected players after the two legs will qualify to play in the National GP Finals in Terengganu from Dec 27-30.
On Saturday, BAM’s chief coach Rashid Sidek said that the Sabah Open had been deferred to another date to accommodate the top players’ preparation for the Thomas and Uber Cup Finals.
Initially, BAM had planned to hold the camp in Taman Negara, Pahang, after the All-England but it was postponed as the dates were too close to several other Open tournaments.
“The camp will probably be in Penang and the players will assemble there as part of our team building programme. Currently, arrangements are being made to facilitate the Thomas-Uber Cup squad there,” said Rashid.