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Butt confident of Olympics spot despite WSH stint

April 09, 2012

“Looking at the strength of our team I believe that it needs experienced players like Shakeel Abbasi and myself.” -File photo

KARACHI: Former Pakistan captain Rehan Butt has termed his experience playing in the World Series Hockey (WSH) as the ideal preparation ahead of this year’s Olympics in London and has expressed confidence that he will be considered by the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF).

The cash-rich event which failed to get the official sanction of International Hockey Federation and as such all Pakistani players that took part in it face the risk of suspensions by the PHF.

Butt and another top player, Shakeel Abbasi, joined the WSH despite being named in the Olympics probables and full-knowing the risks of their action. went ahead despite part of the Olmypics probables and led the Chandigarh Comets to the semi-finals of the inaugural event.

“I have been playing hockey for years but it was a great learning experience for me. The standard of the tournament was high and it was an exciting opportunity which was great for us. It was a good opportunity for us to earn some extra money. Secondly, there wasn’t any international assignment and we only missed the training camp. In fact the WSH gave us ideal training ahead of the Olympics,” Butt said, adding that he will face PHF’s disciplinary committee with full confidence.

“I will try to convince them. I’m fit, in good form and confident that I’ll perform well in the Olympics if given the chance.”

The Pakistani squad, according to Butt, lacked the experience that could serve the team well at such big event.

“I have represented by country in two Olympics games in Athens and Beijing and hope to play in London.

“Looking at the strength of our team I believe that it needs experienced players like Shakeel Abbasi and myself.”

Meanwhile, a training camp for the upcoming Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh, Malaysia, is set to begin on April 18 in Islambad.

“The team will now be selected in the first half of next month. Till then all the probables selected earlier will appear in the training camp,” coach Khwaja Junaid said, without getting into the issue of the ‘rebel’ players.