‘PHF negating 2012 Olympics vision by selecting senior players for Azlan Shah Cup’April 30th, 2011 - 2:03 pm ICT by ANI
Karachi, April 30(ANI): The Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) is negating its own stance and vision for the 2012 Olympics by retaining the senior players who are “at the twilight of their careers,” a former Olympian has said.
Pakistan hockey team selectors named an 18-member squad for the upcoming Azlan Shah Cup, which includes four senior players- Rehan Butt, Sohail Abbas, Shakeel Abbasi and Waseem Ahmed.
“The PHF has repeatedly told the nation that they are eyeing an impressive show in Olympics 2012 and all their efforts are directed towards it,” the Dawn quoted former Olympian Shahnaz Shaikh, as telling PPI.
“However, by retaining all the senior players who are at the twilight of their careers, the federation has once again contradicted its own statement,” he added.
The former manager recalled that no one had criticised the PHF when they had sent a young team in the last edition of the Azlan Shah Cup, where they secured fifth position.
“Everyone knew that it was important to feature a young side in a tournament such as Azlan Shah Cup, so that the pool of players increases before any major tournament,” said Shahnaz.
He demanded that the PHF make it clear to the nation whether the senior players would be retained till the Olympics 2012.
“But if they wouldn’t be retained for the Olympics 2012, their selection for the Azlan Shah Cup is perplexing,” he added.
Shahnaz noted that the Azlan Shah Cup would be a real test for Pakistan, top international teams would be featuring in the tournament.
“But teams like Australia are sending their new players in order to refresh their pool of players ahead of the Champions Trophy, which will be held from Dec 4-11 in India,” he added.
Shahnaz expressed the hope that senior players would retain their form till the 2012 Olympics, but added that the ground realities did not favour them.
“We could only hope that senior players stay in good form till Olympics 2012. But if you closely observe there is a gradual fall in their form and fitness,” he pointed out.
Ironically, PHF chief selector Hanif Khan agreed with Shahnaz that the chances of the senior players delivering for Pakistan in the important Olympics 2012 Games are grim.
“I hope that they maintain their form, but it seems unlikely,” said Hanif. (ANI)
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Tags: 2012 olympics, abbas, abbasi, ahmed, bu, butt, champions trophy, favour, fifth position, ground realities, hockey federation, hockey team, member squad, olympics, olympics 2012, ppi, selectors, shakeel, twilight, waseem