LONDON: Pakistan has been paired up against reigning world champions Australia in its London Olympics 2012 hockey pool.
The London Olympic Organising Committee, together with the International Hockey Federation (FIH), on Tuesday unveiled the London Olympic Hockey 2012 competition schedule be held in London from July 30 to August 11.
A total of twelve teams will be participating in the mega event and are divided into two pools, says a press release issued here.
Pool-A includes Pakistan, Australia, Great Britain, Spain, Argentina and South Africa.
Pool-B comprises World no. 2 Germany, and World no. 3 Netherlands, along with top ten rankers South Korea, New Zealand. India and Belgium complete Pool-B.
Pakistan will play its first match against Spain on July 30 followed by a match against Argentina on August 1, Great Britain on August 3, South Africa on August 5 and last pool match against Australia on August 7.
However, Pakistan national hockey team skipper Sohail Abbas said that he desired an Indo-Pak encounter in the Olympics. “In Olympics, every match is equally important to us and we would treat each one as a final but a match with India is what everybody wants to see.”
The captain further said that the team has a very good chance of winning Gold in the Olympics this year. “I am confident that we [our team] will put their maximum effort in training and that will be visible through our performance. We have complete faith in God, and working hard we are hopeful of having a good chance,” Abbas said.
Responding to a question, Abbas said the players were passionate towards the game, and the entire team should play as one unit.
“If you play as a team, all these things don’t matter. Once you stop playing as a team, that’s when these factors about them being physically bigger and stronger come into play,” he said.