KARACHI: Ignoring the clear warning sent out by the country’s federation, former Pakistan captains Rehan Butt and Shakeel Abbasi are set to leave for the unsanctioned World Series Hockey (WSH) that starts today in Chandigarh.
The Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) warned its players against taking part in the WSH, threatening to impose life bans, after the International Hockey Federation (FIH) termed it an unauthorised league. However, Butt confirmed that he received the Indian visa and will be leaving today to play in the lucrative league. Abbasi, will also leave with a group of other players.
The duo was included in Pakistan’s preliminary squad for the Olympics and the players’ participation in the WSH is likely to result in a punishment.
“We aren’t skipping national duty,” Butt told The Express Tribune. “It’s just part of the training camp that we’ll miss [due to the WSH]. We signed the contracts in March last year and the ban announcement came after that.”
Meanwhile, the former captain admitted the lucrative offer had also prompted his move. Butt is certain to make Rs5 million and if his team emerges victorious, the striker will pocket double the amount.
Former captains Waseem Ahmed and Zeeshan Ashraf along with Adnan Maqsood and Tariq Aziz will also feature in the event.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 29th, 2012.