The Pakistan hockey team has left for Oman in order to participate in the Junior Asia Cup in Salalah.
The teams have been divided into two pools. Pool A comprises Pakistan, India, Japan, Thailand, and Chinese Taipei, while Pool B consists of Korea, Malaysia, Oman, Bangladesh and Uzbekistan.
The event will be held from May 23 to June 1. Pakistan will play their first match against Chinese Taipei on May 23, Thailand on May 24, India on May 27 and Japan on May 29.
Under the supervision of the coaching staff, these players did extensive training in Lahore ahead of the event. The staff includes prominent names in the shape of Olympian Hanif Khan, manager, and consultant Roelant Oltmans.
Oltmans said that all he wanted was to see Pakistan making it to the semi-finals.
“I am here as the junior team consultant and my first challenge is to see Pakistan qualifying for the World Cup to be held later this year in India. If we succeed in making it to the semi-finals from Group A, we would be in a position to qualify for the World Cup,” he said.
“It is a tough task as there are some strong teams in Group A. I have very limited time at my disposal — almost 16 days here and a few days after reaching Oman. We want to make the best use of available time in an effort to get the favourable results. My efforts are to help the team make maximum use of their abilities. For that efforts would be made on targeted training. I will make sure to improve that side of the players’ quality which could help them get better results in the Asia Cup,” he added.
Ali Raza, Mohammad Faizan Janjua (captain), Aqeel Ahmad, Arbaz Ahmad, Ihtesham Aslam, Mohammad Sufyan Khan, Arbaz Ayaz, Mohammad Murtaza Yaqoob, Arshad Liaquat, Ali Murtaza, Zakriya Hayat, Abdul Rahman, Abdul Qayyum Dogar, Abdul Hanan Shahid (vice-captain), Abdul Wahab, Basharat Ali, Bilal Akram.
Bilal Khan, Mohammad Bilal Aslam, Mohammad Baqir, Mohammad Nadeem Khan, Mohammad Adnan, Waqar Ali.