PHF starts preparation for Olympics 2012
October 14, 2011
Hockey is the national sports game of the country, which bring many gold and silver medals in the Olympic Games and world cup and now after long struggle Pakistan got the gold medal in Asian Games almost after two decades.
After the terrorists attack on Sri Lankan cricket team, all the major foreign team in cricket, hockey, squash, volleyball, tennis and others refuse to come Pakistan and play the cricket against the host country due to security concern but now the top management in the sports federations like cricket, hockey and boxing doing the good job and negotiate the foreign countries to come Pakistan. The management of Pakistan Hockey federation (PHF) led by Olympian Qasim Zia and Olympian Asif Bajwa, who run the federation matters professionally as with the limited resources they are trying to revive the international hockey in the country. PHF also successful in their efforts as China gave the green signal for his visit to Pakistan in the end of this year.
This announcement would be a signal of resumption of international hockey activities in country as PHF top management also planning to invite more international teams as well as the negotiation is also on with the archrival India to come Pakistan in play a series against green shirt. PHF current management taking lot of steps to bring back the glory of hockey in the international level as in only two years they bring back the gold medal in Asian Games as well as the second position in Sultan Azlan Shah Hockey Cup.
Now the big target to get some good results in the Olympic Games 2012 and preparation are already started as well as national hockey team tour to Australia are also the exercise in this regard, said the PHF chief Qasim Zia
Talking about Sohail Abbas, Qasim urged that Sohail Abbas to start delivering against top teamsand he is a prolific scorer but unfortunately he fails to deliver against top teams, adding that our team needs his best especially in bigger games and I hope that he will start doing better.”
Qasim also revealed that the PHF will start investing on promoting indoor hockey in Pakistan after next year’s Olympic Games. “Though any player who shows talent in the next six month can join the camp, in the certain that the team for the games more or less will be pick from the top 26 players’, he said.
On the other hand the selection committee of PHF announced the national squad for Australian tour and announce the Shakil Abbasi to led the squad as he is replacing Muhammad Imran who suffers from a bout of malaria
Chief selector Hanif Khan said that Muhammad Imran has been suffering from malaria for the last ten days which is why his fitness level is pretty low, adding that Imran is one of our key players and we don’t want to take any risks ahead of next year’s Olympics which is why the captaincy responsibilities have been transferred to Abbasi but just for the tour of Australia. “These days if we rest players, then people start talking. Another reason why we have selected Imran is to ensure that he doesn’t get discouraged. He will stay with the team in Australia and will play he gets fully fit.” He said
The tour of Australia is relatively insignificant when you compare it with Pakistan’s next international assignment: The 2011 Champions Trophy in New Zealand from December 3-11. In Australia, Pakistan will feature in a quadrangular event and the International Super Hockey Series in Perth from October 20 to November 4.
Apart from the change in captaincy, the main news is that national selectors have recalled Sohail Abbas, the penalty corner expert.
The team also includes penalty corner specialist Sohail Abbas, who was overlooked for the Asian Champions Trophy but after Pakistan flopped miserably in converting short corners during the event in which they lost to old rivals India in the final, the selectors decided that the team still needs the experience and expertise of him.
The selectors have also recalled striker Muhammad Zubair while Kashif Javed and reserve goalie Imran Butt have been dropped.
Hanif and fellow selectors have also opted to pick a greenhorn in the touring party. Muhammad Irfan Jr, who is currently making his bones as a skillful left-in at the junior level, has been give a chance to prove his worth in Australia.
Pakistan squad: Shakeel Abbasi (captain), Mohammad Imran, Sohail Abbas, Imran Shah (goalkeeper), Mohammad Irfan, Kashif Shah, Rizwan Junior, Mohammad Tousiq, Waseem Ahmed, Rashid Mehmood, Fareed Ahmed, Haseem Khan, Shafqat Rasool, Mohammad Waqas, Rizwan Senior, Ali Shan, Mohammad Zubair, Umar Bhutta, Irfan Junior.
Officials: Khawaja Junaid (manager), Michel van dan Heuvel (head coach), Shahid Ali Khan, Ajmal Khan Lodhi (coaches).