PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Tigers are set to spend the first two weeks of Ramadan by playing a series of hockey test matches against Olympic Games qualifiers Japan and Britain.
They will be playing both nations from April 17-24 at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil.
The games will be played in accordance with the standard operating procedures (SOP) set by the National Security Council (MKN), Youth and Sports Ministry and Health Ministry.
This friendly matches will also be conducted according to the ‘sports bubble’ concept, similar to the recently concluded Malaysian Hockey League (MHL).
The Japanese national squad, who arrived in Malaysia yesterday, are currently undergoing a mandatory quarantine process at the Grand Millennium Hotel Kuala Lumpur for seven days and will then be transferred to the Pullman Bangsar Hotel.
The British team will go through the same process when they arrive today.
National coach A. Arulselvaraj said he would name a 22-man list for the matches.
“Our players have just finished the league, and we have not been able to do physical, tactical and penalty corner training, but we will use this series of friendly matches as a yardstick to see how prepared our boys are for the Asian Champions Trophy and Asia Cup, ” said Arul.
“The last time the team played in an international match was in 2019. So these friendly matches are essential for us to gauge our standards.
“Arranging matches during Ramadan is not an easy thing, but this is a pretty good test for the players, especially in terms of mental preparation.
“Our hope is for the team to play with high spirits and show a desire to get positive results in matches.”
TEST MATCH DATES
April 17: Malaysia vs Japan
April 18: Japan vs Britain
April 19: Malaysia vs Britain
April 20: Malaysia vs Japan
April 21: Britain vs Japan
April 22: Malaysia vs Britain
April 24: Britain vs Japan