Incentive rethink needed


NO EFFECT: BAM's ranking, match bonuses lead to easily satisfied players

 LEE Chong Wei may have won nearly RM1 million in prize money last year but cash, it seems, does not motivate the other national players.

Or it could be that the players are easily satisfied and if that is the case, it has surely got to do with the BA of Malaysia's world ranking and match bonuses.

Chong Wei was the only Malaysian shuttler in the top 50 prize money earners list last year as several other national players have been enjoying BAM's world ranking incentive scheme without even winning an international title for years.

Under the BAM scheme, players ranked in the top 16 in the men's singles and top 12 in the other disciplines are eligible for quarterly bonuses.

The men's singles and doubles can earn up to RM34,000 and RM33,000 respectively every three months for remaining in the top two positions.

It used to be even easier up to three years ago where BAM was paying bonuses for men's and women's singles players ranked in the top 32 while pairs ranked in the top 16 also received incentives.

The previous scheme was slashed by 20 per cent but that was compensated with the match bonus which a player or pair are eligible for by reaching at least the quarter-final stage of an international tournament.

While Chong Wei has won the quarterly sum of RM34,000 on merit as he has 51 international crowns to his name, men's doubles Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong are still benefiting from both schemes despite winning their last super series title four years ago.

Millions are also being spent every year on the national players with only Chong Wei justifying the expenditure and it is about time the others received a grim wake-up call.

For example, the world ranking incentives should only be awarded to players and pairs who achieve the top ranking as it is almost impossible to be the World No 1 without winning a super series or grand prix title.

The quantum should also be considerably slashed while match bonuses should only be awarded to players who win international titles.

In fact, the focus for excellence should be on the Olympics, World Championships and the Asian Games.

BAM has set RM1 million as the reward for an Olympic gold and RM50,000 for a world champion or Asian Games title.

The incentives for the Olympics and World Championships could be further increased as Malaysia has not been successful in both events.

The bar should be raised by BAM and the focus should be on winning titles, the majors especially, and not world rankings.

If implemented, there should be more players making the top 50 of the prize money list.




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