KUALA LUMPUR: Japan’s Kenichi Tago will be the main drawcard in the inaugural Kopiko Purple League at the Sports Arena Sentosa in Kuala Lumpur from Nov 25 to Feb 1.
And with just one week to go before the start of the RM2mil league, all 12 participating teams have finalised their team members – with each club fielding a balanced side to challenge for the trophy.
The Petaling Badminton Club (BC)’s high-performance manager Wong Ah Jit on Sunday confirmed that the top Japanese player has been included in their team list.
Kenichi entered the fray after the club’s top player, Lee Chong Wei, was suspended after failing a dope test at the World Championships in Copenhagen in August.
Ah Jit said the league would be a perfect platform to revive the club system in the country and an ideal stage to unearth new talents for the nation.
“Besides engaging several top players, every team have also selected potential talents. With a big pool to choose from, it will be interesting to see who they will field during matches,” said Ah Jit.
“It is a league that we have been waiting for a long time. Our local talents will get to play against some of the top players in the world. That itself will be a valuable experience for them.
“Most teams are keeping the line-up close to their chest but rest assured, we will get to see high quality matches. Hopefully we will get to see new talents coming to the fore.
“The league also serves as great entertainment for our badminton-loving Malaysians with 75% of the matches to be telecast live on Astro.”
Ah Jit, who previously worked with the Squash Racquets Association of Malaysia (SRAM) believes the league could be the answer to inject professionalism in local badminton.
“The Purple League follows the English Premier League (EPL) concept. It will eventually become fully commercialised with major corporations owning the clubs, similar to the EPL. I believe this is the right way to go,” he added.
AMPANG JAYA BC: Sony Dwi Kuncoro, Alamsyah Yunus, Aprilia Yuswandari, Terry Hee Yong Kai, Andre Kurniawan Tedjono, Muhd Amzaar Zainuddin, Ong Yew Sin, Shevon Lai Jemie, Goh Giap Chin, Ho Yen Mei, William Ooi, Kelvin Ng, Yuanda Hemi. Lim Yik Fong, Erica Khoo Pei Shan, Andrew Liw Zhang Zhau, Tan Wee Tat, Kuan Kam Chung, Tay Ken Yew, Chua Keh Yeap.
BANGSAR HAWKS BC: R. Sathiestharan, M. Thinaah, Kavita Sylvia Kumares, Cheah Liek Hou, P.V Sindhu, K. Srikanth, Danny Bawa Chrisnanta, Zulhelmi Zulkiffli, Zulfadli Zulkiffli, Ahmad Maziri Mazlan, Nik Ahmad Afzar Nik Mazlan, Fazandra Yusfiandika Ahmad Yusri, Ikmal Hussain Jaafar, Krishna Kumar, Lee Zii Yii, Ashton Chen Yong Zhao, Robin Gonansa, Nur Izzuddin Rumsani, Low Kean Yew, Joyce Wai Chi Choong.
CHERAS BC: Mohd Hafiz Hashim, Koo Kien Keat, Zakry Abdul Latif, Razif Abdul Latif, Muhd Hafizi Hashim, Muhd Hafifi Hashim. Mohd Lutfi Zaim Abdul Khalid, Watchara Buranakuea, Trawut Potieng, Markus Gideon Fernaldi, Pia Zebadiah Bernadeth, Febby Angguni. Soong Fei Cho, Goh Jian Hao, Syed Akbar Shah, Mohd Shakier Ruhaizad, Sarita Suwanakijboriharn, Gilbert Tan, Lee Jo Yew, Chong Chun Ning.
KAJANG BC: Hendra Setiawan, Kento Momota, Lilyana Natsir, Man Wei Chong, Kwek Yee Jian, Bong Guang Yik, Chua Ching Weng, Loh Zefeng, Shahrul Shazwan Shahrul Khairi, Victor Ong Jing Kai, Boon Wei Ying. Wong Kin Yik, Jacob Maliekal, Thanesh Veerapan, Eizlan Shah Misfahul Muneer, Yap Kiam Yong, Linda Agnes, Ong Soon Hock, See Phui Leng, Chong Sook Chin.
KEPONG BC: Ai Wei Jian, Chin Chuan Jue, Chong Wei Feng, Chua Khek Wei, Goh Soon Huat, Liang Xiao Yu, Lim Yin Loo, Low Juan Sheng, Ng Di Hua, Nur Azriyn Ayub, Ong Jian Guo, Ow Yao Han, Soo Kar Seong, Tan Boon Heong, Tee Jing Yi, Vita Marissa, Woon Man Chun, Yang Li Lian.
KLANG UNITED BC: Mohd Fairuzizuan Mohd Tazari, Chooi Kah Ming, Teo Ee Yi, Nelson Heg Wei Keat, Yew Hong Woon, Puah Chen Hao, Yap Zhen, Simon Santoso. Derek Wong Zi Liang, Lee Kian Onn, Leong Jun Hao, Yap Yee, Yap Rui Chen, Tio Sue Xin, Lee Meng Yean, Yap Chee Rong. Fu Mingtian, Muhd Rian Ardianto, Kevin Sanjaya Sukamujo, Firman Abdul Kholik.
MUAR CITY BC: Lee Hyun-il, Adrianti Firdasari, Robert Blair, Tan Chun Seang, Mohd Arif Abdul Latif, Rusydina Antardayu. Fikri Hadmadi, Tan Bin Shen, Chow Pak Chuu, Mak Hee Chun, Tan Wee Kiong, Chan Peng Soon, Teok Kok Siang, Vivian Hoo, Chow Mei Kuan, Au Kok Leong, Akmal Rumsani. Fairuz Fauzi, Jenny Wan, Lim Pei Yee.
NUSAJAYA BC: Boonsak Ponsana, Chong Yee Han, Cheam June Wei, Yip Pui Yin, Julia Wong, Hoon Thien How. Lim Khim Wah, Lim Ming Chuen. Chang Hun Pin, Andro Septian Purnomo, Haw Yong Yuan, Kuan Beng Hong. Lim Pek Siah, Lai Chia Wen, Chong Li Qun, Lai Zing Neng, Shawn Sukit, Lee Yan Sheng, Lin Woon Fui, Ooi Swee Khoon.
PETALING BC: Kenichi Tago, Soo Teck Zhi, Iskandar Zulkarnain Zainuddin, Yeoh Seng Zoe, James Hong Jun, Goh V Shem, Chong Chun Quan, Shia Chun Kang, Chen Jia Huo, Chen Tang Jie, Lew Ming Hui, Adriansyah Putra, Zhao Yun Lei, Tan Vi Hen, Wang Meng Yan, Chen Jiao. Tike Arieda Ningrum, Lim Yin Fun, Rizky Hidayat, Ian Wong Jien Sern.
PETALING JAYA BC: Sudket Prapakamol. Nguyen Tien Minh. Kong Keat Zhen, Jagdish Singh. Roni Tan Wee Long, Anita Raj Kaur, Chiang Jiann Shiarng, Bodin Isara, Yogendran Krishnan, Woon Kok Hong, Vountus Indramawan, Loke Pok Wong, Andrew Smith, Millicent Wiranta, Ahmadi Abdul Saman, Prajakta Sawant, Goh Yea Ching, Lydia Cheah, Chan Kwong Beng, Shahzan Shah Misfahul Muneer.
PUCHONG UNITED BC: Markis Kido, Fran Kurniawan, Agripina Prima Rahmanto Putra, Tommy Sugiarto, Goh Sze Fei, Maria Mata Masinipeni, Liew Daren, Tan Wee Gieen, Lai Pei Jing, Woon Khe Wei, Tan Aik Quan, Lim Chiew Sien, Yew Hong Kheng, Wong Fai Yin, Lee Zii Jia, Vincent Phuah Cheng Wei, Darren Issac Devadass, Peck Yen Wei, Tan Jinn Hwa, Lee Ying Ying.
SERDANG BC: Amelia Anscelly, Tan Kian Meng, Soong Joo Ven, Tai An Khang, Goh Jin Wei, Tan Yip Jiun, Tan Chee Tean, Sannatasah Saniru. Lim Chi Wing, Chian Chin Yong, Derek Yeoh, Lim Zhen Ting, Lee Jian Yi. Yap Cheng Wen, Lu Ching Yao. Wang Tzu Wei, Chen Chung Jen, Wang Chi Lin, Soh Wooi Yik, Tan Jia Wei.