BAM boss urges Malaysia's best players to come forward for Thomas Cup

KUALA LUMPUR: Representing the country in major team events is both an honour and privilege, not enjoyed by many.

This was the response of BAM president, Tan Sri Norza Zakaria, when asked to comment on the uncertainty surrounding the national men's team for the Thomas Cup in Chengdu, China, from April 27-May 5.

With the April 13 deadline looming, the national body has yet to announce the final team list for the Thomas Cup.

Last week, independent shuttler Zii Jia conveyed to BAM that he might opt out of the Thomas Cup to concentrate on his preparation for the Paris Olympics.

Separately, Tze Yong is fighting against time to recover from spinal disc surgery.

Speaking to the press after chairing BAM's council meeting and AGM today, Norza said: "Representing the country is an honour and privilege. Not many will get this opportunity.

"Players in other countries will give anything to fight for their country.

"Our athletes must know that their service for the country will be remembered and appreciated by every Malaysian."

Norza added that putting together a strong team is also a reflection of the country's unity and pride.

"We will be heading in the right direction if we have our best players and they are willing to fight for the country.

"Look at the BATC (Badminton Asia Team Championships) in February. We reached the final because we had a strong team.

"I believe all the top players will want to play for this team, be it Zii Jia, Tze Yong, Leong Jun Hao or the rest.

"We want to have a high quality team as it is also a reflection of our nation's pride.

"In individual tournaments, it's only the player's pride at stake, but in a team event, we should aim to preserve our country's pride," added Norza.

Malaysia are in Group D of the Thomas Cup alongside European champions Denmark, Hong Kong and Algeria.

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