No warm-up competition for Asia Cup team

June 5th, 2008 - 10:44 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, June 5 (IANS) Desperate efforts of hockey ad-hoc committee to arrange a series at home with Pakistan to prepare the Indian team for the junior Asia Cup next month in Hyderabad failed to come off. The series was planned following the cancellation of the Indian team’s trip to Poland to play in an Under-21 tournament, but the Pakistanis excused themselves, citing tight pre-Olympic schedule.

The Pakistanis, however, have expressed their willingness to play in a tri-series after the Beijing Games.

The ad-hoc committee was keen that the juniors got some practice before the Asia Cup from July 8-18, but could not get any team to play. Now the team will have to be content with a three-week-long training camp in Hyderabad from June 15.

Chief selector Aslam Sher Khan told IANS that the ad hoc committee came to know from the organisers that the former Indian Hockey federation Chief K.P.S Gill sent them a letter withdrawing the team owing “unavoidable circumstances” even as the junior team was getting ready to leave for Poland.

Aslam Sher said the India should play more with the countries in the region like Korea, Pakistan, Malaysia and China.

“We want other Asian countries to play with India as that is the best way to improve our style of hockey. We can have Pakistan, Korea or Malaysia to play a short series here,” Aslam Sher said.

Aslam Sher also said that the matches can be played in smaller cities and towns of India where hockey is popular, like in Uttar Pradesh.

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