Friday, November 12, 2010

Pakistan recall drag flicker Abbas for Asian Games

Pakistani hockey team players warm up during a team practice in Lahore.—AFP/File photo
LAHORE: Seasoned Penalty-corner specialist Sohail Abbas got a last-minute approval from the Asian Games organisers for his inclusion in the 16-member Pakistan hockey team announced on Tuesday.
The Games are scheduled to be held in Guangzhou, China from Nov 12.
In the initial selection, chief selector Hanif Khan had ignored Sohail but later, the chief selector met the world-record holding player on Oct 21 and decided to call him for the camp set up for the Asian Games.
However, as the Sept 30 deadline for submission of entries for the mega event had expired, the first request on Sohail’s inclusion made by the Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) was rejected.
Following the rejection, the POA flew its special representative Masood Ahmad, who is secretary of the Pakistan Judo Federation, to attend the member delegation meeting in Guangzhou held on Tuesday.
The effort bore fruit and the organisers finally allowed Sohail and 16 other Pakistan players in different disciplines to take part in the Games.
The condition set for their participation, however, now binds them to get China’s visa for their participation.
Meanwhile, it has been learnt that the PHF is also trying to send two extra players, namely goalkeeper Imran Shah and Kashif Javed, at its own expenses.
Imran Shah, who was the lone goalkeeper representing the country in the last Commonwealth Games, will be sent as cover for senior custodian Salman Akbar.
Full-back Zeeshan Ashraf, who declared last week that he would quit the game after the Asian Games to make way for the juniors, has been retained as captain of the squad with Mohammad Imran as his deputy.
Squad: Zeeshan Ashraf (captain), Imran Shah (vice-captain), Salman Akbar, Sohail Abbas, Mohammad Irfan, Waseem Ahmad, Mohammad Rashid, Fareed Ahmad, Mohammad Tauseeq, Abdul Haseem Khan, Rehan Butt, Shakeel Abbasi, Shafqat Rasool, Mohammad Zubair, Mohammad Waqas Sharif and Mohammad Rizwan.
Reserves: Imran Shah and Kashif Javed.
Manager: Khawaja Mohammad Junaid. Head coach: Michel Van Den. Assistant
Coaches: Ahmad Alam and Ajmal Khan. Physio: Faiz-ur-Rehman. Video analyst: Nadeem Khan Lodhi.
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