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Pakistan may make two major changes

Monitoring Desk

KARACHI: As Pakistan team is gearing up to face New Zealand in a must win match of the series, the Green Shirts are likely to have two changes in playing XI.

Pakistan will face New Zealand in the third One Day International match of the series at the Otago Oval on Saturday after losing first two games. As far as team is concerned, Fakhar Zaman is most likely to return to the playing XI in place of either Azhar Ali or Imam ul Haq.

Zaman sustained a contusion to his right thigh during the first ODI in Wellington while fielding. He was assessed after the match and was diagnosed with a contusion of the right thigh.

Meanwhile, Rumman Raees is also expected to be rested. Aamir Yameen and Haris Sohail are strong members to replace the pacer.

Pakistan’s expected XI: Fakhar Zaman, Azhar Ali or Imam ul Haq, Babar Azam,  Muhammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Sarfraz Ahmed, Shadab Khan, Hasan Ali, Mohammad Amir, Aamir Yameen or Haris Sohail.

Pakistan granted special spot in Champions Trophy

Monitoring Desk

KARACHI: Pakistan’s national hockey team has been granted entry into the Champions Trophy by International Hockey Federation (FIH) president Narinder Batra after the request made by Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) president Brig (r) Khalid Sajjad Khokhar.

Pakistan were granted entry on the basis of the argument that they were not able to qualify for all the major events in 2018, which will halt the growth of the game in the country. “As Pakistan were unable to qualify for all major events including the World Cup and Olympics, so Khokhar made a request to the FIH president Batra, who is also the former president of Hockey India, that Pakistan should be granted an entry in the Champions Trophy to help the team grow,” PHF secretary Shahbaz Senior said.

Outlining the terms of inclusion, Shahbaz said Pakistan will play as the seventh team in the event. “Pakistan needs to participate in international events to grow and this is one of those events where the top six teams of the world are available to play against,” he said. “Normally it is a six team event, but Pakistan has been included as the seventh team courtesy a special request and will play against every team in the event.”

The event is comprised of hosts Netherlands, defending champions and the Olympics, World Cup and World Hockey League winners. The remaining spots are be filled by the FIH executive board. “Our team has enough time to prepare for the event and I am hopeful that we will be able to make a competitive team,” said Shahbaz. “In the last Champions Trophy, we just had a month to prepare which was not enough, but this time we will be able to make a good team that will not only participate in the event, but will win matches as well.” The event is scheduled from June 23 till July 1 at Breda in Netherlands.

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