PHF announces 17-member hockey squad for European tour

LAHORE: Selection Committee of Pakistan Hockey Federation has announced the 17 member squad for European tour after two days trials at National Hockey Stadium Lahore on Saturday.

Four players who are already playing league hockey in Europe will be called for the tour by the team management according to the demand.

Pakistan team will start the tour of Europe from Sept 24 by reaching France. It will also play Test series against Poland and Belgium. The team will play three matches against France on Sept 27th, 28th and 30th and then two Test in Poland on Oct 3 and 4. In last, it will play three Tests in Belgium Oct 6, 7 and 8. Chairman Selection Committee Olympian Hassan Sardar, along with other members of selection committee Rana Mujahid Ali, Khalid Bashir, Farhat Khan, Muhammad Shafiq and team manager Muhammad Asif Bajwa said at a press conference that the trials to select the 18 member team for World Cup qualifiers will be again held before the tournament. League players Wasim Ahmad, Rehan Butt, Salman Akbar and Abbas Haider will also take part in the trials.

Hassan Sardar said that Pakistan team has the ability to outclass any team and he was hopeful that Pakistan team will Inshallah qualify for the world cup.

He said Mohammad Saqlain could not prove his fitness thus faced the axe. In contrary he added penalty-corner specialist Sohail Abbas had improved a lot in fitness and the skill of converting penalty-corners.

The selected 17 players are Nasir Ahmad (Goal Keeper), Zeeshan Ashraf, Sohail Abbas and Muhammad Imran (Full Backs), Muhammad Irfan, Fareed Ahmad, Sajjad Anwar, Zeeshan Ali, Sabtain Raza and Muhammad Rashid (Halves), Waqas Sharif, Shafqat Rasool, Abdul Haseem Khan, Muhammad Zubair, Akhtar Ali, Shakeel Abbasi and Tariq Aziz (Forwards)