Lithgow’s Lachi Sharp has been chosen to be part of the Kookaburra’s 18-man squad contesting the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Perak, Malaysia, in early March.
The annual men’s hockey tournament will be highly competitive in 2018 with Australia (currently ranked the number one men’s hockey team) coming up against hosts Malaysia (12th), Rio Olympics gold medallists Argentina (second), India (sixth), England (seventh) and Ireland (10th).
Being picked for the Malaysian competition puts Lachi in good stead for selection into the Kookaburra’s Commonwealth Games squad, competing on the Gold Coast in April.
The Azlan Shah rounds will be the final competitive matches played by the Kookaburras before the games.
Coach Colin Batch said the cup would help form selections for the Commonwealth Games.
“I think we’ve got a good mixture, not only in the 18 we’ve picked, but in our squad as a whole where we combine the experienced players in the group with our younger players,” coach Colin Batch said.
“They’re learning quickly and we want to be able to perform every time we go out on the pitch, so that’s why Azlan Shah is important preparation for the Commonwealth Games.”
Each nation will meet each other once in a round robin format in Perak, Malaysia, before the finals on Saturday, March 10, with the top two sides to meet in the decider.
Kookaburras’ Sultan Azlan Shah Cup Fixtures:
- Saturday 3 March 9pm AEDT - Australia v England
- Sunday 4 March 11:30pm AEDT - Malaysia v Australia
- Tuesday 6 March 9pm AEDT – India v Australia
- Wednesday 7 March 7:05pm AEDT – Australia v Ireland
- Friday 9 March 7:05pm AEDT – Argentina v Australia
- Saturday 10 March TBC – Finals