25 July, 2014 / Ramazan 26, 1435

LAHORE: The Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) will announce captain for the upcoming back-to-back Champions Trophy and the Asian Champions Trophy after the team management submits names to the PHF, most probably on Monday.

The Champions Trophy is scheduled to be held from Dec 1 to 9 in Melbourne, Australia while the Asian Champions Trophy will commence from Dec 22 in Doha, Qatar.

“We don’t want to interfere with selection affairs by announcing the captain before announcement of the team,” PHF secretary Asif Bajwa told Dawn.

The team management headed by ex-Olympian Akhtar Rasool will announce the team, since the PHF has already dissolved the selection committee in the wake of team’s poor performance in London Games, giving all powers to the team management to select team as is practised in other hockey-playing nations.

“We intend to wait for the team management to name the team, since we want to select a captain from the already announced team by the team management,” the secretary remarked.

Though Bajwa was not ready to share details about the next captain, it seems the PHF is considering two options in this regard.

Firstly, the PHF may opt to pick up a young but experienced man for the said post so that he could lead the team until the 2014 World Cup while the other option is to go for an experienced player since the upcoming events are tough ones.

If long-term planning is on the minds of PHF officials, full-back Mohammad Imran might be the best choice for captaincy.

Otherwise, Mohammad Waseem, who was forced to withdraw his retirement decision he made after the London Games, might be considered for the job to take advantage of his experience during the upcoming events.

It is also pertinent to mention that Akhtar is likely to announce the 18-member team on Monday as he has to attend a meeting of the fact-finding committee in Islamabad on Tuesday.

The committee is probing performance of the Pakistan team at the London Olympics where the team finished seventh.

The team will be selected from 27 probables, who are attending a training camp here at the newly-inaugurated Mian Mohammad Sharif Stadium.

It is to be noted that Akhtar was the head coach during the London Olympics, an assignment he was given just four months before the start of the mega event.

But now he has been appointed as head coach till the 2014 World Cup with extra responsibility of also selecting the national squad.

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