LAHORE: Umar Bhutta will lead a 20-member Pakistan squad at this month’s Asia Cup, the Pakistan Hockey Federation’s national selection committee announced after resolving its differences with the country’s hockey governing body.

The Asia Cup will be held in Jakarta from May 23 to June 1 and the team was selected from among 24 probables, who attended the training camp in Lahore, which will continue till the squad’s departure on Thursday.

While Umar has been retained as captain, the main talking point was that the selection committee led by Manzoor Junior, which did not announce the team for its tour of Europe last month, announced the team after a detailed briefing with head coach Siegfried Aikman and the team management.

After the team for the tour of Europe was announced by the PHF in coordination with Aikman and without consultations with the selection committee, committee officials had threatened to offer their resignations. Things, though, have now been settled.

“Our main objective is to put national hockey on the right track,” Manzoor told Dawn on Tuesday. “The entire selection committee had a detailed briefing from the team management and discussed several points before giving the nod for the squad.

“The committee is satisfied with the performance of the team under Aikman and we hope the team gives a good performance at the tournament which is a qualifier for next year’s FIH World Cup.”

Squad: Goalkeepers: Akmal Hussain, Abdullah Ishtiaq Khan; Defenders: Mubashir Ali, Emad Shakeel Butt, Hamad-ud-Din Anjum, Muhammad Abdullah, Rizwan Ali, Midfielders Umar Bhatta, Ali Shaan, Moin Shakeel, Abdul Hanan, Junaid Manzoor, Ghazanfar Ali; Attackers. Abu Bakar Mahmood, Ejaz Ahmed, Rana Abdul Waheed, Muhammad Salman Razzaq, Afraz , Roman, Abdul Hanan Shahid.

Team management: Manager: Khawaja Junaid; Head coach: Siegfried Aikman; Physical Instructor: Daniel Berry; Assistant coaches: Ajmal Khan Lodhi, Wasim Ahmed, Olympian Sameer Hussain; Goalkeeping coach: Imran Shah And Imran Buttl; Video Analyst: Nadeem Lodhi; Physio: Adeel Akhtar ,Muhammad Aslam.

Published in Dawn, May 18th, 2022

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