LAHORE: Welcomed by a mixture of protesting chants and commendations at the Lahore airport, Pakistan’s national hockey team captain Sohail Abbas said on Wednesday that the nation should not keep “high hopes” and should rather have “reality-based” expectations.
Speaking to the media after arriving in Pakistan from London where the team participated in the 2012 Olympics, Abbas said that the “world saw how we worked hard for the Olympics” and that “success or defeat is in the hands of God.”
“Australia is the number one hockey team. We played competitive matches and fought back very well and I am satisfied with me and my team’s performance.”
When asked about his availability in the Hockey World Cup scheduled in 2014, he said, “I have not thought about my availability as yet.”
The team’s head coach, Akhtar Rasool, while speaking to the media said, “It has been four months since I took charge of the hockey team and during this time I have developed the squad. I believe that the way the team performed in the Olympics, except for the one match against Australia, has been commendable.”
Rasool said that the team worked really hard for the event.
“As far as the federation is concerned, it did everything to facilitate and look after the team.”
The head coach said that the team “awakened the nation’s hopes in hockey.” He said that the team’s next target is the 2014 hockey world cup and that he had hopes that the team will achieve it.