Zulmazran at the crossroads
Malaysian Open performance will determine his career path
Wednesday, October 16, 2013 - The Malay Mail
DEFENDING champion Zulmazran Zulkifli faces a dilemma on his bowling career when he competes in the Malaysian Open championships in Petaling Jaya next month.
Zulmazran, who turns 30 on Nov 20, has been plagued by a nagging wrist injury he suffered just before the Guangzhou Asian Games in 2010.
While he has done everything required to recover from the injury, which includes resting, rehabilitation, strengthening his muscles and changing his technique, the relief has been temporary.
"I even asked other world-class bowlers who are similar to me (heavy bowler) whether they use any technique which does not require using wrist power," said Zulmazran.
"Some have shared their thoughts, while others have been secretive. For instance, Dominic Barret bowls similar to me, but he does not use his wrist power. When I asked if he could share his style, he simply said: 'Why should I?'
"It's frustrating, especially when you work so hard to get back on the road and cannot perform to expectations because the injury affects the revolution of the ball, which is an essential part of my game."
Zulmazran said he is giving himself one last chance to see if he can get back to normal bowling and do well in the Malaysian Open.
"The Malaysian Open is my favourite ... it brings the magic in me and I hope it works again," he added.
"But this time, it has to work instead of me having to worry about the injury and delivery.
"Although I won the title last year, the injury still affected me for the rest of the year."
Zulmazran said he has been working extra hard, especially after his disappointment in the recent World championships in Las Vegas.
"I am already thinking of bowling with two hands, like Australia's Jason Belmonte and Finland's Osku Palermaa (both of whom revolutionised the two-handed approach in bowling)," said Zulmazran.
"I have already spoken to them and have been trying it out in practice.
"I might even try my left hand out of desperation," laughed Zulmazran. But he hoped it would not come to that.
"That is how serious I am to stay in the game and start doing well again. I am not getting any younger and I need to get my act together fast," said Zulmazran, who has won the Malaysian Open thrice — last year, 2008 and 2009.
Zulmazran said he has not spoken to anyone about opting for two hands or left-handed, including national coach Holoway Cheah.
"For now, that is my last option. I hope to get back to normal and hope the Malaysian Open will show me the way."