THE Asian Bowling Tour is in tatters as several tournaments have been postponed indefinitely due to the Covid-19 virus outbreak.
The Malaysian Tenpin Bowling Congress (MTBC) confirmed on Thursday that the annual Malaysian Open, initially scheduled on May 25-April 4, has been called off.
The Thailand Open, initially scheduled in Bangkok on April 8-18, has also been postponed while the Incheon Open (May 14-20) and Singapore Open (May 31-June 6) are on the verge of suffering a similar fate.
It is a huge blow, especially for the national team who are already facing uncertainties in the face of possible budget cuts.
“It’s a blow for us because the postponements will affect our preparations for the Asian Championships in Hong Kong in July,” said Malaysian Tenpin Bowling Congress secretary-general Maradona Chok yesterday.
“Hopefully, we’ll be able to come up with a replacement date for the Malaysian Open, depending on the situation of the virus outbreak, later this year.”
Meanwhile, the MTBC served a surprise by dropping seasoned campaigner Alex Liew when they finalised their squads for the year yesterday.
The elite men’s team comprise Rafiq Ismail, Timmy Tan, Ahmad Muaz Fishol, Adrian Ang, Syafiq Ridhwan Abdul Malek and Tun Hakim Tun Hasnul Azam while Sin Li Jane, Siti Safiyah Amirah, Esther Cheah, Natasha Roslan, Syaidatul Afifah Badrul Hamidi and Shalin Zulkifli make up the women’s list.
The backup squad comprise Hafiz Zainuddin, Shahrukh Amin, Azizi Naim, Syazirol Shamsudin, Nevern Netaneel Marcellinus (men), Nur Syazwani Sahar, Nerosha Keligit, Nora Lyana Nastasia, Faten Najihah and Gillian Lim (women).
“Alex will join our coaching stable pending the formality of getting the job,” explained Maradona.
“And although the status of bowling at the 2021 Vietnam Sea Games and 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games is still uncertain, our bowlers will continue preparing to maintain their form if the events are confirmed.”
The elite men’s team will head to Germany for the Brunswick Euro Challenge on March 16-22.