S. Selvaraju in training with the national hockey squad in January. - Filepic
KUALA LUMPUR: Four years in the wilderness due to an ankle injury has not diminished S. Selvaraju’s appetite for international matches.
Now, he will play in next week’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
The 29-year-old Perak-born player knows that it is his last chance to come good in the national team.
“This is the best and perhaps the only chance for me to stake a place as a regular in the national team. The Asian Games (in Incheon, South Korea, from Sept 19-Oct 4) is the next big assignment. I want to try and secure a place in the team, too. The Glasgow campaign is more about performance rather than results,” said Selvaraju.
“For the last four years, I have been battling an ankle injury. I was told I might not get to play hockey again. But I joined this meditation group and it helped me to recover from the injury. My life has also changed for the better.
“I will go all out in Glasgow to show I am still good enough to be in the national squad. I am physically and mentally ready for the task,” he added.
Selvaraju, a forward with silky skills, has represented Malaysia 88 times, but his last outing was in the World Cup qualifier in Invercargill, New Zealand, in November 2009.
He also has the distinction of being the only Malaysian to have featured in seven different hockey leagues.
Selvaraju, who made his international debut in a Test series against China in Guangzhou in 2006, played for the Moenchengladbach Club in the German League in 2007. Two years later, he featured for the Berlin Club in the German League before joining Midlands Club in the New Zealand League in 2010.
A year later, he played for Racing de Dulie in the French League. Then last year, he played in three different leagues – with Khalsa Club in Hong Kong, Armed Forces Club in Thailand and Armicora Club in the Italian League.
On the local front, he has represented Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) in the Malaysian Hockey League (MHL) for the last four years.
Selvaraju, who featured in the Junior World Cup in Rotterdam in 2005, was also a member of the Malaysian team who won the bronze in the Asia Cup in Chennai in 2007.
Selvaraju is among a handful of senior players in the Glasgow team. Most of the players are from the National Juniors squad.
Malaysia, who finished last out of the 12-team World Cup last month, are in Group B and open their campaign against Canada on July 26 followed by England (July 27), Trinidad and Tobago (July 29) and New Zealand (July 31).
Titleholders Australia, India, Wales, South Africa and Scotland are in Group A.