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Former star Dhanraj sings praises of Azlan Shah Cup

An international hockey player’s resume is not complete if he has not played in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup tournament.

That’s how much importance former Indian skipper Dhanraj Pillay places on the tournament.

The 25th edition of the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup will be held in Ipoh from April 6-16 and will see seven teams – Australia, New Zealand, India, Pakistan, Canada, Japan and Malaysia – battling for glory.

Dhanraj is in town to watch the tournament and look for a coaching opportunity in the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) later this year.

“This is truly a world-class tournament … every hockey player should play in it before they can claim to have done it all in the sport,” said Dhanraj.

“I was privileged enough to have played in this tournament from 1989 to 1999 … and enjoyed all the experiences.

“It’s truly a world-class event … I rate it just behind the Olympics and the World Cup.

“The tournament this year will be close as four teams – Australia, New Zealand, India and Canada – are preparing for the Olympics.

“But don’t rule out Malaysia, Pakistan and Japan as they can spring some surprises.”

The Indian hockey icon was also pleased to see Malaysia having faith in local coaches.

“That was a bold decision. In the long term, I believe that it’s the correct one,” said Dhanraj, who hopes to coach one of the clubs in the MHL this year.

– Story courtesy of The Star