THOMAS CUP: Nadzmi confident players will roar in Wuhan
KUALA LUMPUR: BA of Malaysia president Datuk Seri Nadzmi Salleh is confident the Thomas Cup squad are fully aware of how high the stakes are and that they will deliver in Wuhan, China.
There is a distinct lack of team spirit and atmosphere at the Putra Stadium, with the singles and doubles set-ups even training separately but Nadzmi is not too concerned.
Business, he said, will pick up once the squad arrive in Guangzhou for the final phase of training.
"Preparations have been going on for a long time and the players know that they have to perform," said Nadzmi after welcoming Maxis Berhad as BAM's latest sponsor in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
The Thomas Cup Finals kick off on May 20 and the squad will train in Guangzhou for four days before moving to Wuhan, the host city.
BAM secretary Ng Chin Chai said the lack of atmosphere could be because the players are exhausted after playing in several tournaments back-to-back.
"They do train together but due to technical reasons, the singles and doubles go through their routines separately. They are also tired after competing in a series of tournaments and they didn't have much time to recover before training started again," said Chin Chai.
"I believe Guangzhou will help improve teamwork as they will train, eat and go through activities together next week."
That remains to be seen but officials were smiling yesterday after Maxis signed a one-year deal which is expected to bring another RM1.5 million into BAM's coffers.
Maxis, which appointed Lee Chong Wei and men's doubles Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong as its brand ambassadors last year, is now looking at working with BAM in helping the sport at the grassroots.
Maxis chairman Raja Tan Sri Arshad Raja Tun Uda said: "Our partnership with BAM will enable us to help the association achieve its goals by focusing on development."
Nadzmi said the Maxis sponsorship will provide BAM with the resources to boost development throughout the country and also ensure Malaysian shuttlers continue to excel on the international scene.