Pak hockey team named for World Cup

LAHORE: Pakistan Hockey Federation on Wednesday announced the 18-member national team to represent the country in World Cup being played from November 28 in Bhubaneswar, India.

The team was named following two days trials which concluded here at the outer ground of the national hockey stadium.

President , Pakistan Hockey Federation Brig (retd), Khalid Sajjad Khokhar, Secretary, Shahbaz Ahmad and Chairman National selection committee 25 camp players were tested in four sessions of 20 minutes each under the floodlights.

The trials were watched by the full national selection committee comprising of Islahuddin Siddique (chief selector), Ayaz Mahmood, Qasim Khan and Musaddiq Hussain (selectors) watched the 28 camp probables in action during the trials.

Mohammad Rizwan Sr will be the captain of the side with Ammad Shakeel Butt, the vice captain.

Pakistan Team: Imran Butt (goal keeper), Mazhar Abbas (goal keeper), Mohammad Irfan Sr, Aleem Bilal, Mubashar Ali, Mohammad Tauseeq Arshad, Tasawwar Abbas, Rashid Mahmood, Ajaz Ahmed, Ammad Shakeel Butt (V. Captain), M. Irfan Jr, Mohammad Rizwan Sr (Captain), Ali Shan, Faisal Qadir, Abubakr Mahmood, Umar Bhutta, M. Atiq Arshad and Mohammad Zubair.

The team management, Manager: Hassan Sardar, Head Coach: Tauqeer Dar, Coaches, Rehan Butt & Danish Kaleem, Video Analyst: Nadeem Lodhi and Physiotherapist: Waqas Mehmood.

Chief selector, Islahuddin told reporter that the selected team is blend of experience and youth . “ The team comprises best available hockey talent and performance was the only criteria of selection of players “, he added.

The former hockey Olympian past performance of players was also taken into consideration during the selection of the players.

He termed the World Cup “ a tough and challenging event” as worlds top notch teams will be participating in the mega event.

“ Our team is pumped up due to its recent title win in the Asian Champions trophy and players are in right mind set to build on to this success“, said the chief selector adding “The team management made its best efforts to overcome gray areas of the team by engaging the players in difficult drills which has boosted the confidence of the players“.

Islahuddin said the PHF is striving hard for the cause of hockey despite financial problems . “ Players are being looked after in good manner during the camp and PHF is taking measures to acknowledge its recent success in the Asian Champions trophy “, he asserted.

Islah said selectors have gelled youth with experience in the team keeping an eye on the future of Pakistan hockey.

“ I don’t want to make tall claims regarding our teams performance in the Cup but I am confident that our players will display their best to attain glory for the country “, he said adding “ We will be playing against the top teams of the world and our team will be aiming to live upto the expectations during the mega event.