Hockey: Pakistan probables resume preparation

Published: April 9, 2012

The competition will be the first international assignment for the Greenshirts this year. PHOTO: AFP

KARACHI: Pakistan hockey probables will assemble in Islamabad next week as they finalise their preparations for the forthcoming Azlan Shah Cup to be played in Ipoh, Malaysia.

Pakistan team coach Khwaja Junaid said the camp will start on April 18 and will continue till the squad leaves for the tournament starting May 24.

The competition will be the first international assignment for the Greenshirts this year and also their first tournament since the sacking of Michel van den Heuvel.“We’ll follow the training plan which we did in the last phase,” Junaid told The Express Tribune. “It covers all aspects including players’ fitness and all other technical issues.”

Junaid added the management stopped the training camp late last week after the tri-series was called-off following withdrawals from India and Malaysia due to security apprehensions.

Subsequently, the trials, which were scheduled this week to select the 15-player squad for the tri-series and the Azlan Shah Cup, have also been postponed.

“The team will now be selected in the first half of next month. Till then all the probables selected earlier will appear in the training camp.”   The seven-nation Azlan Shah Cup includes Britain, South Korea, New Zealand, Argentina, India and Pakistan besides the hosts.

Juniors seek whitewash

Meanwhile, the Pakistan junior team is aiming for a whitewash in the three-match series against Malaysia. The side sealed the series by winning the first two fixtures, while the third and final match will be played today.

“The whitewash will be morale boosting,” said the team management official. After playing against Malaysia, Pakistan juniors will play two matches against South Korea on April 11 and 13.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 9th, 2012.

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