PETALING JAYA: Former national bowler Alex Liew has been challenging his young charges to score perfect games to keep their mood up during the Covid-19 pandemic.
And he has promised there will be a ‘reward’ for the winners.
Alex is the right person to throw down the gauntlet as the “king of perfect games” has chalked up the highest score possible 23 times in over two decades.
The southpaw, who is now the national youth coach after retiring last year, said he wanted to keep the youths motivated as there had not been any tournaments due to the pandemic.
“I hope that by encouraging them to score perfect games, they will not lose their drive.
“I’ll probably reward them with a drink or meal, ” smiled Alex.
He also hoped that in future, hosts and organisers of tournaments will revive the rewards for perfect-game winners.
“During my time, we used to have prizes, even cars and houses for those who strike perfect games. In fact, I won a Proton Wira when I scored my first 300 during the 1995 Kedah Open, ” said the 44-year-old.
“Nowadays, we don’t hear so much of the incentive. I believe it should be revived as it will, in a way, raise the standard of the bowlers and the tournament.”
Having done it many times, Alex said there were a combination of many factors that lead to a perfect game.
“I can’t explain the emotion when you are on the verge of a perfect game... your heart beats faster and the pressure gives you cold sweat... however it comes with lots of practice to get that score, ” he explained.
“One has to be calm, your breathing needs to be right.
“It’s wise to take one shot at a time too. You will mess it up when you overthink it.
“Of course, there is an element of luck too. The ball choice and lane condition also plays a part.
“I will guide the bowlers to be consistent with their shots and hopefully, we will see more of them making it, ” he added.
For now, only one out of his 15 youth bowlers – Megat Zaqrul Haikal – has struck the magic number during a local competition last year.
Currently, as bowling alleys are closed due to the movement control order, Alex and his charges have been going to a hall in Bukit Jalil to train.