KUALA LUMPUR: World No 1 Datuk Lee Chong Wei, who just became a father on Friday, will play in the US1 mil (RM3.04mil) Axiata Cup after all.
After some coaxing from his teammates, Chong Wei has decided to come to the team's rescue by playing in the final tie against Thailand at 7.30pm, Sunday at Kuala Lumpur Badminton Stadium in Cheras.
With Chong Wei playing, the team's chances are certainly better against the Thais and the home team now stand a better chance of winning the mixed team Cup for the first time and also pocket a whopping US400,000 (RM1.217mil) top prize money. The runners-up get to take home US200,000 (RM608,000).
Chong Wei will play against Thailand's young hotshot Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk, whom he had defeated in the semi-finals of the All-England last month.
Theirs will be the third match to be played.
Said national coach Tey Seu Bock: "The team is excited and grateful that Chong Wei has decided to come back. With him in, our morale will be high and it will also increases our chances of winning the Axiata Cup for the first time in front of our home crowd."
The two-time Olympic Games silver medallist Chong Wei will surely be hoping that daddy's luck will be on his side as this will be his first tournament as a father.
On Friday, his wife Wong Mew Choo had given birth to Kingston Lee via Caeserean section. Final (7.30pm): Malaysia vs Thailand (Sonia Cheah vs Ratchanok Intanon; Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying vs Sudket Prapakamol-T. Saralee; Lee Chong Wei vs Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk; Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong vs Boonsak Ponsana-Songphon Anuritayawon.)