Will Badminton World Federation’s (BWF) move to allow teams to register more players than usual for the Thomas Cup benefit Malaysia or their rivals more?
Timesport spoke to former Thomas Cuppers, Kwan Yoke Meng and Datuk James Selvaraj on who will benefit from this ruling, and who doesn’t.
Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, BWF will allow countries to register a maximum of 12 players instead of 10 for the world team event in Bangkok.
Both Yoke Meng and James feel that Malaysia should register the maximum number of players.
Yoke Meng, who was part of Malaysia’s 1992 Thomas Cup winning team, said nations with good depth in their squads, will benefit more from BWF’s decision.
“Stronger countries like Indonesia will benefit more from this because they can not only add more depth to their already well balanced squad but have the options to surprise other teams by using scratch pairs or switch their players around.
“I really don’t see how this would serve as an advantage to teams who don’t have depth.
“With more players registered, the Thomas Cup will not lose its sparkle as the pandemic is still a major concern.
“Imagine if a player is forced to pull out hours before a match because of Covid-19.
“At least with more players in the team, there will be replacements. You can’t possibly expect to play a doubles player in a singles match, can you?
“The Thomas Cup is all about strategy and teamwork. And you need a lot of tricks up your sleeve.
“What you need are several players who can pull off upsets in the team, that was how we did it back in 1992,” added Yoke Meng, who is now a national junior coach.
James, a member of the Thomas Cup squad that reached the 1976 final in Bangkok, said: “Since the BWF have allowed teams to name up to 12 players, I believe BAM should go with that, because we have the numbers.”
Malaysia are drawn in Group D of the Thomas Cup with 2014 champions Japan, England and New Zealand.
In the previous edition in Aarhus, Denmark, Malaysia crashed out in the quarter-finals after losing 3-0 to eventual champions Indonesia.