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PHF announces 18-man squad for Junior Hockey World Cup

Abdul Wahid to lead Pakistan at Junior Hockey World Cup. (Source: Online)

LAHORE: The Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) has announced an 18-member national junior hockey squad to participate in World Junior Hockey Cup to be held in Bhubaneswar, India from Nov 24 to Dec 5, according to a statement issued by the board.

Chairman Selection Committee Manzoor Junior, under whose captaincy Pakistan won the inaugural World Junior Cup in 1979, announced the team along with Head Coach Junior Hockey Team Danish Kaleem and Khawaja Junaid. Rana Abdul Waheed will lead the national junior hockey squad, while Moin Shakeel will be the vice-captain.

Manzoor while announcing the team said though the team could not make appropriate preparations for the mega event due to COVID-19 epidemic, the players had the potential to excel which they exhibited during the four-match series against the national team’s senior probables held last week.

He hoped for the best from the national team while claiming it was the best squad, duly selected on merit. According to Manzoor, a number of junior squad members were ready to get a place in the senior team, which would participate in the Asian Champions Trophy in Dhaka next month.

Meanwhile, Manzoor said except for Abuzar and Mohammad Abdullah Indian visas of all the other Pakistan players had been received. Hopefully, he said, their visas would also be received in the next couple of days from Indian High Commissioner.

Pakistan face Germany in their Junior World Cup group ‘D’ opener on Nov 24, followed by group matches against Egypt on Nov 27 and Argentina (Nov 28). Before the start of the World Cup, Pakistan play back-to-back practice matches against Chile (Nov 21) and Canada (Nov 22).

Since 1993, Pakistan have struggled to get a place on the podium in the Junior World Cup. In 1993, Pakistan earned silver medal after losing the final to Germany in Spain. Besides winning the gold medal in 1979, Pakistan claimed bronze medals thrice in a row — 1982, 1985 and 1989.

Squad:

Rana Abdul Wahid (captain), Moeen Shakil (vice-captain), Waqar, Abdullah Ishtiaq (goalkeepers), Aqeel Ahmad, Rizwan Ali, Adeel Latif, Mohammad Hammad-ud-Din, Abdul Hanan Shahid, Ghazanfar Ali, Umair Sattar, Mohibullah, Abuzar, Mohsin Hasan, Abdul Manan, Abdul Rahman, Roman Khan, Mohammad Abdullah.

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