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Sports

May 20, 2017

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Hockey team to leave for London on May 27

Hockey team to leave for London on May 27

We have no option but to qualify for World Cup, Junaid tells players

KARACHI: Pakistan hockey team will depart for participation in the World Cup Qualifying rounds in London on May 27 from Lahore.

Before appearing in the qualifiers, the Green-shirts will play three matches with Ireland, which will be their final preparation.

Pakistan’s chief coach Khwaja Junaid said that all players were taking rest. They have been given a light physical training programme as they had played nine practice matches, he added.

He said the team would depart for London on May 27. “From there we will go to Ireland where we will play three test matches against Ireland to give our players international match experience. It will also help them acclimatise with the atmosphere,” he said.

Pakistan play against Ireland on June 1, 3 and 4.

Junaid said that Ireland Hockey Federation had requested PHF to play two matches with their junior team, too. “We have decided to play against them, on June 6 and 7. All these matches will be played in Belfast,” he said.

Pakistan failed to qualify for 2014 World Cup.

The World Cup 2018 will be played in India.

Junaid is optimistic that the team would qualify for the World Cup.

“All our energy, hard work, commitment, and planning were directed only at qualifying for the World Cup. We cannot afford to remain out of the World Cup. After all, we have been world champions four times,” Junaid said.

“We have told the boys to be positive and take rest for one week, and then be ready for the final fight to get a berth at the World Cup.

“We have no option but to qualify for the World Cup. The players know very well for what purpose we were doing so much hard work during the training camps and practice and international matches and time has come to produce results,” Junaid said.

The chief coach said that PHF provided them whatever they could.

He said that the World Cup qualifying round would be played from June 15. “And we will reach there from May 28. So we have 17 days to get acclimatised to the environment, which is enough for us and we will be ready for the qualifying rounds,” he said.

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