‘Senior-junior mix key to success’

Bajwa expresses discontent with Ashraf’s decision to skip hockey camp.

Umar Farooq May 21, 2011


Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) Secretary Asif Bajwa remains confident ahead of the 2012 London Olympics, claiming that the combination of senior and junior players in the team was essential for success.

Bajwa claims that the federation seeks to give everyone an equal chance, adding that age should not act as a barrier.

“We can’t just snub the seniors at once,” Bajwa told The Express Tribune. “It’s the right combination of seniors and juniors that eventually leads the team to success.”

He added, however, that the seniors must prove their form and fitness in order to secure a place in the squad.

European tour camp

Meanwhile, the PHF announced 26 probables for a training camp to be held at the Naseer Bunda Hockey Stadium in Islamabad from May 30 with Asian Games’ winning captain Zeeshan Ashraf not on the list. Ashraf said he wanted to feature in bigger and more important events such as Champions Trophy, Olympics and the World Cup, was not included in the camp taking place for the European tour: the four-nation UCD Tournament in Dublin (June 20 to June 25); the four-nation Rabo Tournament in Amsterdam (June 28 to July 2) and a Test series against several European teams.

“Ashraf had conveyed to the PHF before the Azlan Shah Cup that he will only be available for high-profile events,” said Bajwa who was clearly not content with the former captain’s approach.

“I’m not welcoming his request but if he doesn’t want to play, we can’t force him to. However, I will emphasise once again that his selection will be based on his form and fitness.”

Published in The Express Tribune, May 22nd, 2011.


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