Rasool to lead Pakistan against India in junior hockey

November 2nd, 2008 - 11:31 pm ICT by IANS  

Karachi, Nov 2 (IANS) Olympian Shafqat Rasool will lead a 20-man Pakistan junior squad in the five-match hockey Test series against India from Nov 11.Rasool, a talented playmaker who represented Pakistan at this August’s Olympic Games in Beijing, was retained as national junior team captain for the series that is a part of Pakistan’s preparations for next summer’s Junior World Cup. The quadrennial spectacle will be jointly hosted by Malaysia and Singapore in June.

Pakistan’s chief selector Hassan Sardar, a former Pakistan captain, announced the squad after trials here at the HCP Sunday.

PHF president Qasim Zia, secretary Asif Bajwa, selectors Farhat Khan, Khalid Bashir, Muhammad Shafiq, junior team officials and other former Olympians witnessed the trials.

Hassan said that the selectors were forced to select some players in the squad, who have already graduated to the senior team.

“The Junior World Cup is barely eight months away so we cannot do much experimentation,” said Hassan, who replaced former Pakistan captain Islahuddin Siddiqui as the chief selector following Pakistan’s embarrassing eighth position finish in the Beijing Games.

“That is why we have selected some players, who have already played for the senior team. They are still under-21 and are eligible to play in the Junior World Cup,” he said.

Qamar Ibrahim, the new coach of the Pakistan junior team, and fellow team officials, will not even get a week to prepare for the series against India, regarded as the best junior team on the international hockey circuit.

The Indians will arrive in Pakistan on Nov 10 and the opener will be played under floodlights here at the HCP next Tuesday (Nov 11). The remaining four matches of the series will be played in Rawalpindi, Faisalabad, Sialkot and Lahore.

Pakistan squad
Goalkeepers: Imran Shah Waqas Ahmed
Defenders: Kashif Ali (vice-captain), Muhammad Ateeq, Imran Abbas
Midfielders: Muhammad Irfan, Zaheer, Shahzad, Fareed Ahmed, Muhammad Rashid
Forwards: Adeel Hussain, Shafqat Rasool (captain), Haseem Khan,
Muhammad Zubair, Shahbaz, Rizwan, Taufeeq, Yasir, Hassan Akhtar, Azlan

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