Peshawar Hockey League begins

PHF to send jr team to Malaysia next month

ISLAMABAD (APP): As part of the plan to groom future players, Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) would be sending the national junior team to Malaysia for a series in October.

“Our Malaysia counterpart had requested us to play a hockey series in early October,” PHF Secretary Asif Bajwa told APP. He said due to the hectic schedule of the national players, they had asked the Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) to reschedule the series later in the month.

“We have to apply for the No Objection Certificate (NOC) and other matters related for the tour,” he said and added, they have not yet received any reply from MHF but hopefully the series would be finalized in coming days.

In order to prepare the players for the 2020 Tokoyo Olympic qualifiers, Bajwa said Oman hockey team would be touring Pakistan on September 29 or 30 for a four-match series against the probables of the training camp underway at National Hockey Stadium Lahore.

Pakistan would play the Olympic qualifiers against Netherlands next month, playing back-to-back matches in Holland on October 26 and 27. Pakistan has to win both fixtures to qualify for the Olympics.

“I am in touch with Oman’s head coach and former Pakistan captain Tahir Zaman to confirm the dates for the team’s tour to Pakistan,” he said and added the plan was to play the four-match series in Lahore.

Speaking about Pakistan team’s chances in the qualifier against Netherlands, Bajwa said it was a challenging task as World Ranked 17 Pakistan would be up against World No 3 Netherlands. “But nothing was impossible as PHF was doing its best efforts to train players for the qualifier,” he said and added the final squad for the qualifiers would be announced on October 10.

Meanwhile, the national hockey training camp for the upcoming Olympics qualifier was underway in Lahore and camp commandant Khawaja Junaid has said that no compromise would be made on fitness as he wishes to make a formidable team of youngsters for the qualifier against Netherlands. “PHF selection committee had been monitoring the training camp and hopefully would pick the best possible players for the qualifier,” he said.

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