[img_assist|nid=3817|title=GB and India meet again. Ignace Tirkey and Iain Mackay at the test event 2012|desc=|link=node|align=left|width=200|height=141]If the weather is anything to go by in Ipoh we are in for a stormy 21st edition of the Sultan Azlan Shah tournament tomorrow. Training was cancelled today as the torrential rain and storms tried to dampen the Malaysian tournament which includes GB and five other Olympic qualified teams.
Pakistan will take on Argentina in the first match tomorrow, and it will be the first time the Pakistani team have been able to get on the smurf turf as problems getting their own blue and pink pitch mean it won’t be finished for another month or so.
New Zealand’s Blair Hilton also had problems when he discovered that he had appendicitis and was rushed to a private hospital in Ipoh to have the pointless organ removed. He is recovering well and will be back training in a week. In the meantime Shay Neal has been flown out as a replacement.
So the drama has already started and the first match has yet to get underway. GB are the favourites as Australia and Holland, who usually attend have opted for European tours instead. India, Korea and New Zealand are all looking strong contenders for a medal and on their day are all capable of securing the top spot.
It will be a great training tournament for GB leading into the Games and will give them vital experience of playing against Pakistan and Argentina who are in the same pool at the Olympics and whom they don’t get to play against very often.
The playing schedule can be found here http://www.azlanshahcup.com/index.php?option=com_bearleague&task=calendar&sid=3&Itemid=19
We will try and get some live commentary and will keep you updated.