Hockey Asia Cup: Skipper Irfan promises complete commitment

Pakistan start campaign with Bangladesh match; face Japan, India in Group A later

Nabil Tahir October 08, 2017

KARACHI: Pakistan hockey team departed for Bangladesh on Sunday to participate in the 10th Asia Cup to be held in Dhaka from October 11 to 22.

The colts will be playing will be participating in the eight-team tournament and are placed in A alongside arch-rivals India, Japan and host Bangladesh. Meanwhile, pool B comprises of Malaysia, South Korea, China and Oman.

Captain Mohammad Irfan expressed his confidence that Pakistan will put on a good showing in the competition.

“We are confident of putting up a good show in the tournament and find our way into the final at least,” Irfan told The Express Tribune. “We have been training for the last two months and the last camp held at Abdul Sattar Edhi Hockey Stadium has been really good for all the players. We’ve worked hard on fitness which is important in modern hockey.”

He vowed to try and beat India in the pool match. “We are very optimistic about defeating India. We will put our maximum efforts by playing smartly in order to beat India,” he said.

The top two teams of each group will qualify for the four-team second round with direct qualification into the 2018 World Cup for grabs for the eventual winner. “We will try our best to give good news to the nation by qualifying for the World Cup,” said Irfan.

Meanwhile, the head coach who went along with the team after getting NOC from his department Customs, said team will try their best to put up a good show. “The boys are keen to win the tournament and we know there are much stronger teams than us participating, but still we will try our best to make it into the final,” he said.

Pakistan will face hosts Bangladesh in the tournament opener on October 11. They will then take on Japan and India on October 13 and 15, respectively.


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