Friday, March 5, 2010

No end to selection woes in tennis

There seems to be no end to the selection grouses in tennis.
The latest issue to crop up is the selection of players for the Asia/Oceania Group II first round tie against Indonesia at the National Tennis Centre in Kuala Lumpur which begins this morning.
The controversy began with an email from Lawn Tennis Association of Malaysia (LTAM) Coaching Director, Taisto Sinkkonen, inviting players for a trials for the Davis Cup tie, which was held from Feb 8-10.
The players invited to attend the trials were Khoo Er Yang, Syed Mohd Agil Syed Naguib, Joshua Jordan, Ashaari, Christian, Ariez Elyass Deen Heshaam, Asr Merzukii, Deedat, Oscar Chang, Marcus Chee and Nazim.
Taisto had stated in his email that 2 players, namely Adam Jaya and Si Yew Meng have already been selected and that two more players would be selected from the trials.
The trails were duly conducted and Deedat and Khoo finished first and second respectively.  Ariez and Asri did not turn up for the trials, but the duo have been named to the final squad. 
So what was the purpose of the trials?
LTAM may have the final say in selection of players based on other factors, but was the principle of fair play and honesty adhered in this case.
The question is if LTAM had already decided on the players for the tie, why call for the trials.
The players who attended trials had to take leave from school, incur expenses, only not to be selected. To add insult to injury, the players who were selected, although were invited to attend the trials, did not even turn up to participate in the trials.
It was even said that LTAM had wanted former national players Razlan Rawi and Ashaari Zainal to attend trials, but both declined. 
So whats the take from LTAM?
Yes, there have been complains that parents of players sometimes allow their sentiments to get the better of them in wanting their players to be selected, but in a sports like tennis where rankings is the best form of selection, one wonders why so many controversies.
How is the game ever going going to take off to reach higher goals, when there is constant bickering and dissatisfaction in the tennis fraternity?


Mr. Olympism said...

Level Field, Thank you for highlighting this issue. I think it is serious and I feel it is time LTAM answer on what basis were the two who had not attended the trials were selected?
So the head coach Taisto has stated that Adam Jaya and Si Yew Meng have already been selected. I feel LTAM also have to state reasons why these 2 chaps were selected without the need of the trials. Perhaps both are many cuts above the rest and this matter is best left to the discretion of the Coaching Director.
Now the more pressing issue is the admission of Ariez and Asri over the top 2 Khoo and Deedat who attended the trials.
LTAM should come out with a valid reason, this is exactly what Fair play and level playing field is all about. Parents should pressure LTAM to give an answer.

Anonymous said...

Tony, why would Razak bother replying?? He is a typical NSA president in Malaysia. Apa pun boleh! Who needs to justify?

Anonymous said...

Level-field... the anti-LTAM guys are not telling you the truth.
Assri Merzuki defeated Deedat in two sets, I think the score was 6-2, 7-5, in the trial.
But I acknowledge that it was a special trial for Assri to get him into the team and LTAM should have been fair on this matter.
As for Deedat, the player has potential but he is injury-prone.
He constantly injures his back.
Name me a tournament he has won over the last two years?
As for Ariez, his selection is justified.
He represented Malaysia in the Sea Games, and prior to that won a tournament (doubles competition) in Spain last year.
Let me warn you level-field... don't believe what the anti-LTAM guys tell you... in the end, u will get yourself burn for it.
I use to follow their tune in the past and I got burned big time.
First, Fadilah Ghani was shown the door because of these guys and then it was Rahizam and now they want S.Selvarajoo's out.
If they are really concerned about tennis then why aren't they coming forward to help the national team.
I am very sure none will come forward as they are thinking about their rice bowl...which is private coaching.
And when you ask them to play for the tennis team... they want hard cash... talk about patriotism

Anonymous said...

A "special" selection..........?! When and why ? Very fishy. Were all the players notified and made aware ? Then why a simple explanation could not be given when asked ? We are talking about fair play. Of course the best players must be chosen to represent the nation. I do believe Ariez has what it takes to be in the team. But, there must be a set criteria. If the criteria is ITF n National ranking, then be it. It it is based on selection, then be it. It is like setting different criterias for different players and causing confusion and false hopes.

It is ideal if we can head towards one Malaysia. Is there 2 Malaysia here where one is "special" ? ITF ranking should be considered the benchmark and then national ranking. Otherwise what is the use of these rankings ? If it is close, then have a selection. Also It is LTAM who initiated by calling the players for selection and decided 2 will be picked from selection. But then chose others who did not come for selection. It is simple but made complicated.

Also, selection is conducted so late and too close to the tournament. How are the selected players supposed to work together n foster team spirit.

Athletes who play for the nation should be rewarded. Are they supposed to sacrifice their time and spending for training and equipment without earning an income ? What are they supposed to live on ? For Professional Sportsman, the sport is their job. It is a job just like a lawyer or doctor. It is obvious there are ignorant people who dont know what sports is all about and to appreciate sportsman and women. These sportsman are people serving the country. IN any sport, professionals are paid. It s also important to motivate and uplift the sport so all players will push them selves further to achieve the prestige and crowning glory that is attached with the value of the prize or reward. Like they say, if you pay peanuts, you get peanuts. There would not be a Federer, a Nadal, a William sisters and the thousands of ITF players in this world if there wasnt this kind of glory in the sport which is reflected by the amount or earnings generated form the sport.

Money for rewarding the players is an issue ? Maybe eradicate on spending for karipap and teh tarik for meetings and mileage and hotel claims. Be patriotic ! Serve for free. After all, players are the most important entity in the sport and is above the rest - If there are no players, there is no association and no committee and no president.

It is because there are people who love the sport, which is one of the biggest in the world and growing all over asia - they do not want to see it brought down in Malaysia by ignorant and unscrupulous people.

WorldView said...

To "Anonymous" who mentioned about patriotism :
Being patriotic doesnt just mean serving the country for free. Soldiers, Ministers and even Prime Ministers work for and get a salary. You are defining patriotism as serving country for free. So are you questioning the patriotism of all those in the category of sportsman - who serve the country like soldiers and minsters ?

Being patriotic is to be ready to serve the country when she need you and to do it in the best possible way.

I wonder how do you show patriotism. Are you patriotic in your own definition?

One Mas said...

No wonder he got "burned big time" - because of his poor understanding in the filed of sport and his lack of general knowledge.

WorldView said...

Anonymous who revealed about the special selection agreed that LTAM has not been fair in the selection but still supports them and upholds their integrity. Why ? He or she must be the ones looking after their rice bowl.

Why......are they putting food into your rice bowl, ah ?

Anonymous said...

Level Field in the case of LTAM, the problems lies with them. Cakap bukan serupa bikin.The reason is at the fine print LTAM always have this discretion to allow them to select the players notwithstanding the ranking. Is this fair you may ask?
IF you look at OCM and their conduct in allowing athletes to go for the Games, the discretyion lies with the Board of OCM and there is a need to have this vetting body. At Korat the net ball team was a National embarrassment. Malaysia best may be just high school level net ball.
How ever it is difficult to draw the line when you can question the discretion. From what I understand at the Last Asian Indoor Games in Korat, Dato Sieh Kok Chi apparently disregarded athletes ranked in a Dancesport competition in favour of athletes of his choice where some were ranked and another not ranked. Why you may ask? Many asked this questioned by in Dato Sieh eyes, OCM sends the athletes and you cannot question their descretion.
Level Field , that may be so but it kills the sport and like LTAM there was no level field in the selection process.
In the case of LTAM they owe a moral obligation to edxplain to the public why the 1st and 2nd ranked couple were not selected. If it is OVM DSKC, if you dare to ask him he will probably tell you, it is our right who we send to the Games.

Anonymous said...

I think LTAM should support more events like the RM8million Tennis Showdown of Champions!

I think RM8million is more than LTAM's entire development budget for a year... but hey, I got to see Sania Mirza for 45 minutes.

Hoot Hoot!

worldView said...

LTAM got grading of 4 or even if they get 5(Excellent), for organizing skills in the Davis Cup, they still got 0 (zero) for the tournament.