Wednesday March 6, 2013
Injured Baljit racing against time to be fit for Sultan Azlan Shah tourney
By AFTAR SINGH
KUALA LUMPUR: Defender Baljit Singh Charun had to have nine stitches on his lips after being hit during a friendly against New Zealand at the Bukit Serendit Hockey Stadium in Malacca on Monday.
This makes the Ipoh-born player a doubtful starter in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup, which begins in his hometown on Saturday.
The 27-year-old Baljit was hit on the upper lips by the ball in the first-half and was taken to hospital.
Baljit, who has 148 international caps, is a key defender in the national team.
And he didn’t feature in the second friendly against the Kiwis in Malacca last night.
In the first friendly, Malaysia lost 3-2 to the Kiwis, who are the defending champions of the tournament.
National assistant coach S. Arulselvaraj said that it was unfortunate that Baljit injured his lips as he played well in the match.
Baljit, who married lawyer Jasvin Kaur last month, is still eager to play in the tournament despite the injury.
“I should recover in the time for the tournament and feature in the tournament, which will be held in my hometown,” said Baljit, who made his international debut in the same tournament in 2007.
Baljit last featured for the national team in the Champions Challenge I tournament in Argentina last November.
There are 20 players in the national team and two will be dropped when the final 18 is named today.
Besides Malaysia and New Zealand, the other teams taking part are Australia, India, Pakistan and South Korea.