ISLAMABAD: Head coach Roelant Oltmans expects an improved show by Pakistan in the 30th edition of the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup as the national squad is set to leave for Malaysia to compete in the event on Wednesday night.

“I am sure the team will play better to produce improved results in this tournament,” Dutch Oltmans said while speaking to reporters here at the Naseer Bunda Hokey Stadium on Tuesday.

The 69-year-old Oltmans has served Pakistan’s senior and junior teams in different roles during different times since 2004 and was involved with the youth side in his recent-most stint.

The six-team invitational event also featuring teams from hosts Malaysia, South Korea, New Zealand, Canada and Japan, will be held in Ipoh from May 4-11.

Pakistan, who won the Azlan Shah Cup title thrice, in 1999, 2000 and 2003, came third in the last edition which was also held in Ipoh in 2022. Malaysia are the defending champions of this year’s edition.

Senior player Ammad Shakeel Butt will lead Pakistan in Ipoh while Abu Bakr will be the vice-captain.

During a visit to the national team’s training camp at the Naseer Bunda Hockey Stadium, Prime Minister’s Coordinator on Youth Affairs Rana Mashood Khan hoped that Pakistan would do well in Ipoh.

Published in Dawn, May 1st, 2024

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