Friday, 9 August 2013 | MYT 11:20 PM
No. 3 jersey to be retired as mark of respect to Chua
KUALA LUMPUR: The national hockey team’s No. 3 jersey may “be retired” as a mark of respect for the late Chua Boon Huat.
Boon Huat, who was involved in a fatal car crash on Aug 1, had always worn the jersey with the No. 3 – which also happens to be his birth date.
If the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) agree to “retire” the jersey, then the number will cease to be worn at the Asia Cup, which will start in Ipoh on Aug 24.
Boon Huat was 33 when he died and had been a regular member of the team since making his debut in 1998 as a 17-year-old.
In 2009, the Malacca-born player found himself out of favour with the national team but he soon rebounded and earned a spot in the first 11 when Paul Revington took over last year.
Boon Huat, who last international outing was the FIH World Hockey League semi-final in Johor Baru last month, had 337 caps – the most among the national players.
National coach Revington liked the idea of retiring the No. 3 jersey worn by Boon Huat.
“Retiring or ‘resting’ the No. 3 jersey ... would be a very good gesture. This is up to the MHC to decide. He is the most capped Malaysian player, so he certainly would have earned this honour,” he said, adding that the show must go on and rallied his men to go for a win in Ipoh as a tribute to their late team-mate.
The MHC council are set to decide on whether to retire the No. 3 jersey when they meet on Aug 18.
The Asia Cup in Ipoh is also a qualifier for the World Cup in The Hague, Holland, next year.
Besides Malaysia, the top teams from Asian – India, Pakistan, South Korea and Japan – are also eyeing the single spot available from the continental championship.
For the Asia Cup, Malaysia are in Group A with Pakistan, Japan and Taiwan while Group B comprises India, South Korea, Japan and Oma