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Tuesday June 18, 2024

Abdul Rehman replaces Ijaz in team for Challenge Cup

By Abdul Mohi Shah
May 30, 2024
Pakistans Abdul Rehman Jr seen in action in this undated image.— Instagram@abdurrehman_1151/file
Pakistan's Abdul Rehman Jr seen in action in this undated image.— Instagram@abdurrehman_1151/file 

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has relieved Ijaz Ahmed and included Abdul Rehman Jr in the line-up as the team left for Poland following a five-day training camp in Holland ahead of the FIH Challenge Cup.

Roelant Oltmans told ‘The News’ that one change has been made in the team for the Challenge Cup. “We have made one change in the touring squad. Abdul Rehman has been included in place of Ijaz who has not performed to the coaches’ satisfaction during the camp training in Holland,” he said.

Pakistan will be playing their first match on the opening day of the Cup against Malaysia followed by second match against Canada on June 2. “The training has gone fine in Holland with team getting required exposure against quality club teams besides getting the required acclimatisation.”

Oltmans was confident of making an impact in the tournament that is important for promotion of hockey in the country. “The tournament is of utmost importance for Pakistan hockey as a good performance here will take Pakistan into the Pro League. Winning the tournament means re-entering into the group of top teams.”

Pakistan team head coach was optimistic about players’ performance. “I hope and expect the team will play much better hockey to what they have shown in the Azlan Shah Cup. Now it is the responsibility of players to put the newly-developed training and skills into practice.”

Pakistan are to face some of the best teams in the competition including a highly charged French team that is preparing for the Olympics to be held in Paris from July 26. “France are a quality team and so are some others including New Zealand. Korea, Malaysia and Poland are other good teams in the competition.” Pakistan will take on France on June 5, the match that is expected to decide on the Group leader. The semi-finals are set to be played on June 8 followed by the final on June 9.