Junior hockey team captain asks for more exposure before World Cup – Sport

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LAHORE: Pakistan junior hockey team captain Mohammad Abdullah on Saturday demanded the team is given more worldwide exposure forward of their participation within the Junior World Cup.

At the identical time, Pakistan Hockey Federation secretary Haider Hussain demanded the federal government to do more as a way to revive the nationwide sport.

Adressing a information convention on Saturday following the team’s return from Oman, the place they surpassed expectations by reaching the ultimate of the Junior Asia Cup, which they misplaced 2-1 to India, Abdullah mentioned the team’s potential must be maximised.

“This team is immensely gifted however to hone their abilities additional, the gamers want more matches,” he advised reporters. “In our team, we had gamers who had by no means performed a global sport before the event however all of us gelled collectively to play excellent hockey.

“And regardless of the restricted sources we now have, we managed to qualify for the World Cup [by reaching the semi-finals of the Asia Cup].”

Pakistan’s Hanan Shahid was named participant of the event whereas Abdul Rehman completed as the highest-scorer and Haider appealed to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to step ahead in help of the sport.

“Hockey is recognised because the nationwide sport but when the federal government doesn’t wish to help it, it ought to take away the title,” he said.

“We on the PHF don’t want money from the federal government however we’re solely asking it to care for the gamers. The authorities has appointed a working committee on hockey affairs, which has not met the PHF thus far.

“The PHF is just not even ready to pay day by day allowances to this team which has given a shocking efficiency in Oman and had the [provincial] authorities of Sindh not supplied us with a grant of Rs100 million and DHA Lahore not supplied us with the power to arrange the coaching camp, we wouldn’t have been capable of area the team.”

Hanan, in the meantime, echoed Abdullah’s view that overseas exposure would drastically profit the team forward of the World Cup in Malaysia on the finish of the 12 months. “That can be the easiest way to arrange for the event,” he advised Dawn.

The team travelled to Oman after coach Adnan Zakir had left the coaching camp to take care of his ailing son in London. Instead, Dutchman Roeland Oltmans, who was employed as guide for the event, acted as the top coach.

Haider denied that Adnan had left attributable to interference in team choice by PHF president retired Brig. Khalid Sajjad Khokhar. “If Adnan is spreading any unfavorable information that there was a grouping within the team, he quickly will realise his mistake because the PHF relieved him simply to care for his son. And the efficiency of the team is the most effective reply.”

Haider additionally revealed that he’d acquired welcome data that the Pakistan Sports Board is able to maintain nationwide senior team’s coaching camp for the Asian Champions Trophy, set for India in August, and the September’s Asian Games in China.

Former Olympian Tauqir Dar, nonetheless, mentioned on the information convention that the PHF mustn’t depend on the federal government however as an alternative look for “personal sponsors”.

Former Pakistan captain Rehan Butt and former worldwide Mohammad Saqlain added that the team’s efficiency confirmed there was hope for the longer term.

“This is simply the beginning of an extended journey for these gamers and they need to proceed to coach and most significantly, preserve their health stage,” Saqlain added.

Published in Dawn, June 4th, 2023

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