Hockey: Abbas not an automatic choice, says Chief selector

Penalty-corner specialist joins training camp; fitness to be assessed.


Fawad Hussain April 02, 2012

KARACHI: World-record-holder Sohail Abbas will not be an automatic choice in the squad and will have to pass a fitness test after not being seen in action for about four months, according to chief selector Hanif Khan.

Abbas joined the training camp in Lahore this week after a jaw injury in December during the Champions Trophy forced him out of action.

He was twice advised extended rest which forced him to miss the first phase of the training camp in February but, with the future of other experienced players being questioned, Abbas, if he proves his fitness, will be the likely candidate to lead Pakistan.

Selectors to have a close look in the camp

However, Hanif said that the selectors will have a close look at the drag-flicker before giving him the nod.

“Abbas has been an asset for Pakistan for years,” Hanif told The Express Tribune. “It’s a good sign for the team that he has joined the camp and his presence has always been a motivation for the team. But before selecting him, we’ll have to check his fitness.

“It’s not just him. Fitness is the main criterion for us in short listing players irrespective of their experience.”

Hanif added that the trials to choose the squad for the tri-series was expected this weekend. The tri-series, which also includes India and Malaysia, will start in Lahore on April 9.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 3rd, 2012.

COMMENTS (1)

syed nadeem ul haq | 9 years ago | Reply

Hanif is right he should prove his fitness and then he should be concider for the team..heads off to akhter rasool for supporting the team at the time of crises and shame on shanaz sh. has he was also the first undecided player who was the cause of ban on hockey team of pakistan.

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