The Pakistan Hockey Federation’s (PHF) top brass has decided to include experienced goal-keeper Salman Akbar in the Olympics squad following a report from the team management on the Europe tour.
In a meeting to finalise the preliminary squad for the Olympics, input was taken from the team management before a decision to recall Akbar was taken. The goal-keeper, who was not included in the initial squad in February, is currently featuring in a league event in the Netherlands.
“The goal-keeper was the main topic in the discussion,” chief selector Hanif Khan told The Express Tribune. “The team management was unhappy with the performance of Imran Shah. We were told that he conceded too many goals, especially on penalty-corners that could have been blocked. He’s not in good form and down in confidence.
“On the other hand, the coaches witnessed Akbar’s performance in the Netherlands. They were impressed with his fitness after which we have decided to include him. His experience will definitely be helpful.”
Senior quartet passes fitness test
Meanwhile, the chief selector gave positive updates on former captains Shakeel Abbasi, Waseem Ahmed, Rehan Butt and Mohammad Imran.
The quartet, which is seeking an international comeback, underwent a fitness test during a back-up training camp in Lahore.
Published In The Express Tribune, June 21st, 2012.
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