LAHORE: Pakistan hockey team will take part in two four-nation tournaments in March instead of playing a test series with New Zealand and Australia.
Pakistan hockey federation has a comprehensive program to prepare the team for the World Hockey League semi-finals which is going to start from June 15, 2017 in London.
The hockey league will present Pakistan with an opportunity to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in India. Another chance for Pakistan will come through Asia Cup, where making it to the final will help the team to qualify for the World Cup. Asia Cup will be hosted by India in October next year.
“We are focusing now on World Hockey league,” chief coach Khawaja Junaid told Express News. “Our main goal is to play league’s final and qualify for World Cup from thereon. We have planned to develop a pool of thirty one players including five goalkeepers.”
Pakistan hockey team management is now planning a training camp in the second week of February. According to latest information, first four-nation tournament will be staged in New Zealand in early March, and then all teams will travel to Australia for the second event. Pakistan Hockey Federation is also wishing to play a few additional matches, both in New Zealand and Australia.
Junaid added that team is preparing to put up a good show in Sultan Azlan Shah tournament and are ready to tour Europe as well. “Players will learn to handle pressure after playing against big teams and that will help them to perform well in upcoming World Hockey League semi-finals,” he said.