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October 14, 2018

Naveed flays PHF’s decision to retain Rizwan Senior as captain

Sports

October 14, 2018

ISLAMABAD: Naveed Alam, 1994 World Cup winning team member, termed Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) decision to retain Rizwan Senior as a captain as a big risk for the team combination and team work for the forthcoming Asian Champions Trophy starting in Oman, Muscat from October 18.

Talking to ‘The News’ he said he had never learnt or seen a player getting the job of captaincy even after missing the national camp altogether. “Look what message the PHF is trying to give to youngsters and other aspirants. There is no need to attend the camp or train with other players in an effort to improve teamwork, you can get the best job without making any effort.”

Naveed said it was a wrong message given to youth and also a big mistake on the part of federation as far as chances in the Trophy were concerned. “No federation or board can afford naming a captain who prefers foreign leagues over national duty. Look at the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), it refused to issue NOCs to cricketers picked to play Afghan League. The reason is simple playing for the country or even domestic cricket is more important than leagues. Here PHF has different rules. That is one of reasons why we have lost the grip in hockey even at the Asian level during the last three years,” Naveed said.

The former full back feared that the decision to retain Rizwan Senior would have bad impact on team performance in the Champions Trophy. “Asian Champions Trophy is the one event where we have outstanding record. Each time we participated in the event we made it to the final, winning the title twice in the process. Following this unwise and illogical decision on part of the PHF, I have my doubts on team performance in the Trophy.”

Naveed said that decision also sends wrong message to the other members of the team. “There were few players who could also have played Leagues but they preferred staying home and attended the camp wholeheartedly. What message we are giving to them. Would they be in a perfect state of mind to give their best shot in the event.”

In a round robin league matches, Pakistan will have to play against all the top teams before the play off matches. Pakistan’s first match will be against Korea on October 19, followed by match against arch rival India on October 20. Pakistan will play against host nation Oman on October 22. Japan will be Pakistan’s next opponent on October 24. Greenshirts will play Malaysia on October 25. These matches will be followed by playoff matches starting from October 27.

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