KARACHI: The Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) is satisfied with the team’s performance in the Azlan Shah Cup and team coach Khwaja Junaid is hoping for an extension in his contract as he was appointed for the Malaysian tournament only.
“I was hired to train the team for the Azlan Shah Cup only,” Junaid told The Express Tribune. “The PHF has not asked me to continue with the team and my term has finished as well.” But the PHF media coordinator Shehzad Malik suggested that Junaid might coach the side for the Europe tour in July. “It’s not something that the federation would rush on. We are negotiating with foreign coaches but Junaid will have to continue till then,” said Malik.
According to Malik, the PHF was satisfied with Junaid’s performance in the Azlan Shah Cup where Pakistan won two out of five matches and tied one with world champions Australia. Pakistan finished fifth out of seven teams in the event. Malik said that the PHF also admired the way Junaid handled the incorrect penalty issue in the Korea match where Pakistan’s opponents were awarded a wrong penalty stroke by Irish umpire Warren McCully that led to players’ protest against the decision. Pakistan captain Mohammad Imran was shown a red card and Junaid was seen discussing the issue with the tournament organisers.
McCully was handed a one-match suspension after Junaid presented video evidence against him. “We’re very impressed with Junaid’s role as a strong coach when he had the Irish umpire suspended. It is good to see the coach doing what he is supposed to,” added Malik.
Published in the Express Tribune, May 20th, 2010.