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  1. #1
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    Default Misbun Sidek, a great player?

    I was watching the Swiss open MS final a few weeks ago btw Lin Dan and Lee Chong Wei, sitting comfortably on my sofa rooting for LCW.

    Gillian Clark in her usual impeccable English and fluid commentary, complimenting LCW's stamina,fitness and footwork and Lin Dan's expolsiveness and ability to make his shots count.

    Then during the 11 point break, the screen showed Misbun Sidek giving advice to LCW and Gillian Clark said:-

    "There's Misbun Sidek, Lee's coach, a great player himself.......".

    I almost fell out of my sofa in tears when I heard the compliment.


    For me, Misbun Sidek was the greatest Malaysian Singles player of his generation but I speak as a biasness of a Malaysian. I have never dared put him in the ranks of his non Malaysian contempories of Han Jian, Liem Swee King, Luan Jin, Yang Yang , Icuk Sugiarto, Prakash Padukone Morten Frost all of whom havewon better silver ware than he did.

    Amongst my friends of chinese descent in Malaysia during the 80s, they never look to Misbun as a great player for their heroes were the Chinese MS players and the issue of race always clouded their mind. So i was always alone.

    But as I have remembered the commentary of those players I have mentioned, they had all feared Misbun Sidek esp during the years of 82,83 and 84. He was a maverick and unpredictable.

    Misbun Sidek was the eldest of the Sidek siblings. A badminton players factory was hidden away in the rural Malaysian district of Banting, Where Haji Sidek set out his plan to produce badminton champions amongst his children.

    He taught and trained his children badminton in their backyard with no state suppport and with a few chickens running across the makeshift court.

    Soon his sons were spotted by Khoo Teng Yuen, a BAM coach who transferred them to a famous school in Kuala Lumpur where he based.

    Misbun spent a few years training. His talent shown internationally when he, at 19 partnered his brother Razif 18 to reach the semi finals of the WC in 1980.

    Then in 1981, he defeated Liem Swee King in the Sea games. Nobody taught much of the victory and everyone thought it was a fluke. Then in the same year, an invitational match, he also beat the legendary Parkash Pradukone.

    At a time when the Badminton world was putting their attention to the coming Chinese onslaught in world MS, Misbun's triumph was just a single blip in the radar. And the blip was comfirmed when Misbun unexpectaly lost to Steve Braddely of England in 1991 Thomas Cup opening round.

    In 1982, Misbun was embroiled with a quarelled with his head coach Tan Yee Khan. Misbun was not happy with the way Tan's method and he went out of the training camp to train alone. The Malaysian badminton fans were split along communal lines it was perceived unjustifiably that Misbun had refused to train under a Coach of Chinese descent and the Malaysian Chinese did not endear to this pudbanciuos young Man.

    but it was not race, it was traning method rightly or wrongly Misbun did not like the training not the race of his coach as revealed by Eddy Choong a decade later.

    In 1982 World Cup, Misbun showed what he was capable of, He defeated Morten Frost the AE champ in the early group matches which included Li Mao.

    In the Semi finals, he defeated Prakash Padukone. Whereas Liem SweeKing defeated Han Jian to set up a final match.

    In that final Misbun showed all the classic positive hall marks of the Misbun game, deception as well as the negative, lack of stamina and inability to handle pressure.

    His game is characterise by stout defence, deceptive writs play, delayed strokes that catches opponents of guard and his cross court half smash. It was a delight to watch before the coming of another Master of deception Zhao Jian Hua.

    Altough defeated by Liem despite leading 10-1 at the 3rd game, Misbun name in international tournament have arrived. He won some smaller tournaments and through pout 1982 and 83 defeated Prakash, Morten, Luan Jin, Han Jian. In the World grand Prix in Jakarta 1983, he defeated Icuk the reigning WC and Prakash to come in 3rd after Luan Jin and Morten.

    His career ranking high was No2 in 1983. However, his maverick style and character on Court begin to undo his potential. His dyed his hair blonde, became a full professional. But within 6 months his sponsorship contract was withdrawn when he return a few insipid performance often losing to lower rank opponents.

    Despite that, Han Jian who in one of his column to the Star when he coached Malaysia said that Misbun had the best shooting lob and cross court half smash amongst the top players Han Jian had played with.

    He had his fans outside Malaysia esp in India and Europe where they prefer the calculated stroke play and wristy deception artfully done rather than the explosive putting down of the shuttle by the chinese MS.

    However by 1986, misbun was a spent force.

    However, 1988 Thomas Cup semifinals MS match with Icuk. Misbun took one last chance to show his mettle. In the 2nd set, he outplayed in strokes that saw Icuk clutching at his waist after every point as Misbun was making him run back and forth across the Court. like many of his great matches, he did not win but that match was the rallying call to his teamates to beat indonesia for the 1st time in Malaysian Badminton history(the Victory in 1967 didnt count as it was by default).

    So he was not the greatest, but was he a great player?

  2. #2
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    An objective assesment of Misbun's capability.He is one of the most passionate and successful coach Malaysia has ever had.One can hardly count the number of national players not having had the privileged of training under him at one time or another.He was not only a great player but had a colourful playing career too.

  3. #3
    Regular Member chris-ccc's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Misbun and LCW are working together to bring better Badminton results for Malaysia

    Quote Originally Posted by sonnymak View Post

    So he was not the greatest, but was he a great player?

    .
    sonnymak, surely we all regard Misbun Sidek as one greatest Badminton players from Malaysia.

    The current crop of Malaysian Badminton players, including MAS fans, still respect Misbun's past playing abilities and achievements.

    What is nice now is for us to see how Misbun and LCW are working together, to bring better Badminton results for Malaysia.
    .

  4. #4
    Moderator Oldhand's Avatar
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    sonnymak, hats off to you
    Indeed, a masterful piece on a masterful player!

  5. #5
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    Misbun Sidek was not the greatest player during that time but he certainly is one of the best Singles player Malaysia has ever produced.

    I can't really relate to his style of play though as it is a little "slow" imo.....

  6. #6
    Regular Member jhirata's Avatar
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    "There's Misbun Sidek, Lee's coach, a great player himself.......".
    She says that all the time.. :O I think, I heared her say that in the Japan Open 2007, and some other one..

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    You can call it this way:-

    Misbun was a great player in terms of ability, but not in terms of accomplishments. Although his stamina is not that great, not many know he has a health condition (almost similar to Zhao Jianhua) that affects his performance at certain times. If he were in top form, then he was untouchable, but often times he was unable to play well consistently. This was only made public at the tailend of his career. I can tell you of even more embarrassing defeats than the one to Baddeley in 1982 and 1984 (not 1991) Thomas Cup. How about losing to Graeme Robson, NZ no 2, in the preliminary rounds after having destroyed the NZ no 1 the day before.

    In 1980, Misbun actually partnered Jalani Sidek to reach the World Championships semifinalists, losing to eventual champs Ade Candra/Christian Hadinata 10-15, 10-15. It was the first decent performance by a Malaysian squad since the 1976 Thomas Cup final appearance.

    Newspapers reported that Misbun has an appetite for All-England champions. Which was true, from 1980 to 1983 he beat the reigning All-England MS champion from Prakash Padukone to Luan Jin. The last top player Misbun ever slayed was Yang Yang in the Grand Prix Finals.

    Good things came from Misbun's outburst on coaching methods. BAM took steps to bring in foreign coaches in 1988, which improved performance and fitness tremendously. Although one can say, it came too late for him.

    Before his last Thomas Cup appearance as a player (vs Icuk Sugiarto), Misbun met Dr Elyas Omar (then BAM President), and said that he could only last 1 game against Icuk, and was willing to be dropped for the semifinal tie. Dr Elyas asked him to play anyway. Although he lost 3-15,15-13, 5-15, his spirited performance resulted in the team pulling off a marvellous upset.

    You could draw a parallel on Hendrawan's performance vs Gade, 12 years later in Indonesia's 2000 Thomas Cup title defence semifinal.

    I can be proud to say that both these historic occasions, I was there ......

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    Sorry for my sloppy typing.

    I meant 1981 Thomas cup and pugnacious young man.

    Thanks abedeng for further input. Just waiting so some good samaritan to upload some of his better matches esp the one he made Morten looked like a novice in 1982 World Cup.

  9. #9
    Regular Member ants's Avatar
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    I do agree in a certain way that during those times, the Malaysian chinese does favors the chinese players. Not that our parents are racist or anything.. they would cheer for China when China was playing Malaysia. During that time my mom would say that we are "Chong Kok Yan" or Chinese.. so we support China. But if Malaysia vs Indonesia.. they would cheer for Malaysia. So in the mind of my parents during that time.. they never think that Misbun was a Great player, but they acknowledge that he is good. They prefer Yang Yang. But now time has changed... they are bored of China winning all the time. No offence to the Chinese in China reading this. Just want to make sure that i didn't offend anyone.

    Misbun was indeed one of Malaysian greatest player. He does not have an Olympic Gold or many Titles under his belt, but the impact he gave to the Malaysian Badminton would last for eternity, and that is priceless.

  10. #10
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    Nationally (Malaysia), Misbun is a great player, as his accomplishments along with his brothers kick-started Malaysia onto the world badminton scene as a serious contender.

    Internationally (world), I doubt it, not from lack of trying, but unfocused effort.

    -dave
    Last edited by wood_22_chuck; 04-01-2008 at 04:28 AM.

  11. #11
    Moderator drifit's Avatar
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    ans: yes, he was a great player then.
    his killer shot, forehand chop down to left side.
    one may see this during LCW's games.......

  12. #12
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    I met Misbun when Khoo Teng Yuen was still in the KLBA. He was a nice guy He reminded me of a gentle giant. VERY BIG HANDS ehehhe

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    Misbun a great player during his playing days??? NO.

  14. #14
    Regular Member AlanY's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by abedeng View Post

    I can be proud to say that both these historic occasions, I was there ......
    you're such a lucky so and so!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlanY View Post
    you're such a lucky so and so!
    If you call sweating profusely beside legions of die-hard fans, followed by a long walk back home in the wee hours of the morning lucky ......... yup, I suppose I am

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pemuda View Post
    Misbun a great player during his playing days??? NO.
    [shoutings, clappings, whistlings.........] as our beloved stirrer of BC entered this thread.........

  17. #17
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    I have seen Misbun play in Hong Kong many times in Hong Kong in the early 1980s. I saw him beat Yang Yang quite convincingly. I have also seen him thrashed by Icuk Sugiarto by a score of 15 to something close to zero. Some of his Malaysian hosts who looked after him in Hong Kong were from the Malaysian High Commission then. They literally cursed him for not even trying against Icuk. That explains why he could be on top one day, only to sink to the pits the next day. BTW, Misbun had a very good backhand too, quite effortless.

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