KUALA LUMPUR (APRIL 21, 2010): The national shuttlers, who are preparing for the Thomas and Uber Cups, received a surprised visit from Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek today.

The former Information Minister said he is delighted with the players' preparations for the two events, which will be held at Putra Stadium, Bukit Jalil from May 9-16. This will be the first time in 10 years that Malaysia will host badminton's premier team competitions.

Datuk Shabery, who took time off to play a couple of games with his staff and deputy Datuk Razali Ibrahim told the media: "I did not announce my visit to them but from what I have seen, Im confident we have a team with the ability to regain the Thomas Cup.

"We are playing on home ground and it should be used as a motivating factor for them. I just hope Malaysians will show support for the team.

We are asking the players to fight for the country and its not an easy life they go through. They have to be disciplined and wake up early for training. Therefore, the least we can do is to show our appreciation by buying tickets to watch them.

The last time Malaysia won the Thomas Cup was in 1992.

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