The Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) Thursday announced an 18-member squad for the upcoming Junior Hockey Asia Cup, scheduled from May 23 to June one in Oman.
A five-member selection committee, comprised of Olympians Nasir Ali, Rahim Khan, Shakeel Abbasi, and Kalemullah Khan, in consultation with the national junior coaching staff, finalised the team and sent it to the PHF president Khalid Sajjad Khokhar.
Mohammad Abdullah has been named captain while the other squad members include Ali Raza, Mohammad Faizan Janjua, Aqeel Ahmed, Arbaz Ahmed, Ihtasham Aslam, Mohammad Sufyan Khan, Arbaz Ayaz, Mohammad Murtaza Yaqoob, Arshad Liaquat, Ali Murtaza, Zikriya Hayat, Abdur Rehman, Abdul Qayyum Dogar, Abdul Hannan Shahid, Abdul Wahab, Basharat Ali and Bilal Akram.
As many as six players will remain on standby during the event. These players include Bilal Khan (goalkeeper), Mohammad Bilal Aslam, Mohammad Baqir, Mohammad Nadeem Khan, Mohammad Adnan, and Waqar Ali.
Under the supervision of coaching staff, these players did extensive training in Lahore ahead of the event. The coaching staff includes Olympian Hanif Khan (manager), Roelant Oltmans (consultant), coaching panel – Adnan Zakir (International), Olympian Mudassar Ali Khan, Asif Ahmed Khan International, Olympian Zeeshan Ashraf, Rana Zubair (drag flickers coach), Mazhar Abbas (International) (goalkeepers coach).
In Asia Cup, 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. 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.