KUALA LUMPUR: China have their own badminton league. Indonesia have also revived theirs last year. India just successfully completed their first on Saturday.
Malaysia, however, are not even thinking of having one.
It seems the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) are quite satisfied with their Maybank National Open Circuit, which only consists of two legs a year and is confined to the local players.
The BAM have already hosted the Kedah Open from May 28-June 1 and it will be followed by the Kuala Lumpur Open from Oct 2-6. The circuit’s Grand Prix Finals will be held in Putrajaya from Dec 27-30.
How is the BAM planning to reach out to the masses when their local Open tournaments are a drab affair and offer only peanuts?
The men’s singles champion only gets to take home RM4,000 while the men’s doubles champions receive RM6,000. It is worse in the other events. The women’s singles winner only gets RM2,000 and RM3,000 is given to the women’s doubles and mixed doubles champions.
At the last Kedah Open, the women’s doubles event only attracted eight pairs while nine entries were received for the women’s singles event.
The standard of the competition in the men’s singles was abysmal in the absence of world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei. And it was further marred by several withdrawals and retirements.
It is high time for the BAM’s tournament committee to review their plans, presentation and perks for the local players because the current structure has failed to serve the purpose of producing talents like Chong Wei.
Malaysia have some good junior players but they don’t have high quality tournaments to feature in, especially for players aged between 18 to 22.