KARACHI: A dismal run in the ongoing Azlan Shah Cup, including the 2-1 defeat yesterday against India, prompted the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) chief selector Hanif Khan to declare that the team was unprepared for the Olympics which are less than two months away.
The official added that claims from the team management thus far have been nothing but ‘boasts’ after Pakistan lost their fourth successive match in the tournament. The Greenshirts beat Argentina before losing to New Zealand, Malaysia, Korea and India and now face the prospects of a wooden spoon ahead of their last match against Britain tomorrow.
“The team management has only made tall claims,” Khan told The Express Tribune. “The bottom line is that the team is not prepared for the Olympics and the coaches have not done well. The players are repeating the same mistakes. We are not scoring despite creating chances and flaws in our defence haven’t been rectified.”
The chief selector admitted there was little time left but added that improvements can still be made.
“I will advise them not to panic and not go for extensive training. Just pick two of our weakest areas —execution and defence. We should get a command in defence and we have enough time to work on it.”
However, Khan ruled out major changes in the team after the Azlan Shah Cup. Pakistan team leaves for a brief training tour of Europe after the Azlan Shah Cup as part of the preparation for the Olympics that start from July.
India prevail in archrivals’ battle
Meanwhile, Pakistan put up another poor show to go down to their traditional rivals.
India struck through Sandeep Singh in the 30th minute before Pakistan levelled through captain Sohail Abbas in the 60th minute. However, India took control with SV Sunil scoring the decisive goal in the 69th minute.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 1st, 2012.
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