Nurul Dini favourite to take over Shalin’s spot in national team

Good results: Puteri Nurul Dini Mohd Faudzi won gold medals in the All-Events and Masters in the 2017 Asian Schools Championships.

PETALING JAYA: Left-handed bowler Puteri Nurul Dini Mohd Faudzi is likely to fill up the vacant spot left by Shalin Zulkifli in the national bowling team if she gets her act right.

The 22-year-old Nurul Dini is top in the list being considered for a promotion following the departure of seasoned campaigner Shalin.

Shalin, the multiple world championships medallist has called it quits after serving the country for 28 years on Monday, leaving one spot available in the women’s team.

The others in the team are Esther Cheah, Sin Li Jane, Siti Safiyah Amirah Abdul Rahman, Natasha Roslan, Nur Syazwani Sahar, Nerosha Keligit, Nora Lyana Nastasia Norkamal, Gillian Lim and Faten Najihah Ahmad Faik.

National head coach Holloway Cheah said he wanted another leftie in the team and Nurul Dini seemed to fit the bill.

The only other left-handed bowler currently in the team is Nerosha.

“Starting this year, we have combined our elite and back-up bowlers into one team under the Podium Programme. We are now left with nine women and 10 men following Shalin’s decision to quit the national team, ” said Holloway.

“I’ve been training Nurul Dini since October last year. She is aggressive and has a strong release (on the way she bowls).

“We are considering her but she has to prove her worth. We have always believed in results.

“The only other leftie we have is Nerosha and we are trying to get one more to make the team balanced.”

Nurul Dini did well in the Asian Schools Championships in Kuching in 2017 when she bagged individual gold medals in the All-Events and Masters. That earned her a call-up in the youth squad.

Holloway said it would be hard to find a replacement for Shalin.

“She has not only achieved good results for many years but she is a reliable anchor in the team. In the past, when she is down, we can depend on Lai Kin Ngoh to lead the team, ” he said.

“Now, I don’t have anyone like Shalin. I’ll have to select the anchor based on the bowlers’ form during the tournament. I’ll have to build another anchor from our team.”

Meanwhile, Holloway said the 10 men in the team are Adrian Ang, Syafiq Ridhwan Abdul Malek, Rafiq Ismail, Timmy Tan, Ahmad Muaz Fishol, Tun Ameerul Hakim Tun Hasnul Azam, Hafiz Zainuddin, Shahrukh Amin Zulkifli, Syazirol Shamsudin and Nevern Netaneel Marcellinus.

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