KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia will not have the services of three experienced players for the Asia Cup hockey tournament in Dhaka, Bangladesh, from Oct 11-22.
Defender Mohd Izad Hakimi Jamaluddin and forward Muhd Firhan Ashaari are down with calf injuries while midfielder Meor Mohd Azuan Hasan suffered a knee injury during training two days ago.
The trio featured in the World League Semi-Finals in London in June where Malaysia finished fourth to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Bhubaneswar, India.
Youngster Nik Aiman Nik Rozemi, who also played in London, will also be missing.
He will be featuring in the Under-21 Sultan of Johor Cup in Johor Baru from Oct 22-29.
They were replaced by Syed Mohamad Syafiq Syed Cholan, Joel van Huizen, Muhd Amirol Aideed Mohd Arshad and Muhd Ramadan Rosli.
Eight teams will feature in Dhaka and Malaysia, ranked 12th in the world, are drawn in Group B with South Korea, China and Oman.
Group B comprises defending champions India, Pakistan, Japan and Bangladesh.
National coach Stephen van Huizen said that although Malaysia have qualified for the World Cup, the Asia Cup is still an important assignment.
“We have set a target of reaching the final as we are the second highest ranking team in the tournament after India (ranked sixth in the world),” said Stephen.
“We can expect tough matches against South Korea, China and Japan as all three will be going for the title to qualify for the World Cup.”
Goalkeepers: S. Kumar, Muhd Hafizuddin Othman
Defenders: Muhd Razie Abdul Rahim, Muhd Sukri Abdul Mutalib, Muhd Najmi Farizal Jazlan, Faiz Helmi, Syed Mohamad Syafiq Syed Cholan, Muhd Azri Hassan
Midfielders: Mohd Marhan Mohd Jalil, Mohd Fitri Saari, Nabil Fiqri Mohd Noor, Joel van Huizen, Muhd Amirol Aideed Mohd Arshad
Forwards: Muhd Haziq Samsul, Muhd Ramadan Rosli, Muhad Shahril Saabah, Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin Tengku Abdul Jalil, Faizal Saari.