Zul­mazran with­draws from Sea Games train­ing squad

New Straits Times - - Sport - AJITPAL SINGH ajit­pals­

ZUL­MAZRAN Zulk­i­fli made a dif­fi­cult de­ci­sion to save his ca­reer when the bowler with­drew from the Kuala Lumpur Sea Games train­ing squad yes­ter­day.

The 34-year-old cited a se­ri­ous lower back in­jury as the main rea­son.

With age catch­ing up, Zul­mazran may never get a chance to play in the Sea Games again.

The dou­ble-handed bowler also missed the 2015 Sin­ga­pore Sea Games edi­tion due to a knee in­jury.

Zul­mazran, who has suf­fered var­i­ous in­juries in the past, showed signs of re­gain­ing his for­mer self when he won the Thai­land Open last month.

How­ever, the three-time Malaysia Open cham­pion suf­fered a back in­jury and with­drew af­ter just two games into the men’s Masters at the Na­tional Cham­pi­onships re­cently.

Na­tional coach Hol­loway Cheah said Zul­mazran in­formed him about the se­ri­ous­ness of the back in­jury and then de­cided to with­draw from the train­ing squad.

“Zul­mazran will look into op­tions to treat his back prob­lem.

“From the med­i­cal as­sess­ment, it is se­ri­ous,” Hol­loway told Time sport yes­ter­day.

Hol­loway, how­ever, is not wor­ried about Zul­mazran’s with­drawal as he still has seven bowlers in the men’s train­ing squad.

With the lat­est de­vel­op­ment, Hol­loway needs to drop only one bowler from the Sea Games men’s team.

The Malaysian Tenpin Bowl­ing Congress (MTBC) are ex­pected to an­nounce the men’s and women’s fi­nal Sea Games squads in the fi­nal week of June.

Hol­loway has 10 bowlers in the women’s train­ing squad.

“The seven bowlers are work­ing very hard in both train­ing and com­pe­ti­tions.

“The sev­enth bowler will still be train­ing with the team in case of in­juries.

“Zul­mazran is one of our best bowlers but we still have op­tions, so I am not in any sit­u­a­tion that I need to be wor­ried about,” Hol­loway added.

For­mer Asian No 1 bowler Alex Liew, Adrian Ang, Rafiq Is­mail, Syafiq Rid­hwan Abd Malek, Timmy Tan, Nur Ai­man Khairudin and Ah­mad Muaz Fishol make up the men’s train­ing squad.

Malaysia are tar­get­ing six of 11 gold medals on of­fer at the bi­en­nial games. Ex­cept for Cam­bo­dia, Laos and Ti­mor Leste, the other na­tions have con­firmed their par­tic­i­pa­tion in bowl­ing.

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