Lahore: Names of 50 players announced for Azlan Shah hockey cup tournament training camp scheduled in Malaysia. In the second phase 5 goalkeepers, 10 full backs, 12 half backs and 23 forwards will be seen in action from 5th March at Johar Town hockey stadium, Lahore.
Former captain Hanif Khan is nominated as the camp commandant. Head coach Khawaja Junaid says the national team is out of action since the world hockey league played at Melbourne. Azlan Shah will be a practice tournament in which we will try to show our maximum performance. According to details Pakistan hockey team is to face the upcoming challenge of Sultan Azlan Shah tournament scheduled in April at Malaysia. There will be 8 teams in total including the Green Shirts and we would be participating after a gap of 2 years.
Previously the Federation working under the leadership of Akhtar Rasool had refused to participate in the 2014 edition due to lack of funds. The following year, tournament organizers thought it inappropriate to invite Pakistan team to this event. During the current year also chances of being invited were bleak, however due to the hard efforts made by the chief executive officer of the hockey federation Tayyab Ikram, PHF’s president Brig(R) Khalid Sajjad Khokhar and secretary Shabaz Ahmad senior, the team succeeded in securing its place for the event.
Earlier, PHF had organized the first phase training camp at Naseer Bunda hockey stadium Islamabad in which 130 players were invited whereas in the second phase the number is reduced to 50 and the players have been asked to report on 5th of March at Johar Town hockey stadium, Lahore.
Among the players selected are Imran Butt, Amjad Ali, Mazhar Abbass, Yasir, Waleed, M. Irfan, M. Aleem Bilal, S.Kashif Shah, Asad Aziz, Nawaz, Ejaz Ahmad, Siddiq Salman, Khalid Bhatti, Sultan Amir, Munawar Kakar, Farid Ahmad, Rashid Mahmood, Tasawar Abbass, M. Rizwan Junior, M. Tauseeq Arshad, Saleem Nazim, Zohaib Ashraf, Kashif Javed, Ali Hassan, Faisal Qadir, Rehan Ashraf, Qazi Asfand Yar, Irfan Junior, M. Umar Bhutta, M. Rizwan senior, M. Kashif Ali, Ali Shan, M. Arslan Qadir, Abdul Haseem Khan, Taimur Malik, Samiullah, Awais ur Rehman, Shehryar, Ali Raza, Ejaz Ahmad, Fayaz Yaqub, Jamil Bostan, Hameed Ullah, Zeeshan Bokhari, Musharaf, Qamar Ali, Awais Khan, Karim Khan, Akbar Ali and Rizwan Ali.
On the other end, chief coach Khawaja Junaid says Sultan Azlan Shah is a tough tournament but we will try to give our best performance. He further said that after the World Hockey League at Melbourne Pakistan team hasn’t shown up in any International event due to which many players are out of practice. The selection committee has provided opportunity for new players to show their talent by conducting trials throughout the country. We’ll select the best team after watching teams participate in the Azlan Shah tournament, he said I cannot make huge claims overnight but will certainly try to give best results in the upcoming event.