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October 14, 2018

Retaining Rizwan as captain a mistake, says Naveed


October 14, 2018

ISLAMABAD: Naveed Alam, the 1994 World Cup winning team member, has termed the Pakistan Hockey Federation’s decision to retain M Rizwan Senior as captain as a big risk for the team combination and team work in the Asian Champions Trophy starting in Muscat on October 18.

Talking to ‘The News’, Naveed said he had never seen a player getting the national captaincy even after missing a training camp altogether.

“There is no need to attend the camp or train with other players to improve teamwork; you can get the best job without making any effort! Is this the message the PHF is trying to give to youngsters?”

Naveed said it was also a big mistake as far as chances in the tournament were concerned.

“No governing body names a captain who prefers foreign leagues over national duty.

“Look at the Pakistan Cricket Board, it refused to issue NOCs to players picked for the Afghan T20 league. The reason is simple; playing for the country or even domestic cricket is more important than leagues. But PHF has different rules.

“That is one of the reasons why we have lost our grip in hockey even at the Asian level,” Naveed said.

The former full-back feared that the decision to retain Rizwan would have a bad impact on the team’s performance in Muscat. “The Asian Champions Trophy is one event in which we have an outstanding record — we have reached the final on each occasion it has been held. After this illogical decision by the PHF, I have my doubts on the team’s performance.”

He added: “There are a few players who could also have played in foreign leagues but they preferred staying home and attended the camp wholeheartedly. What message are we giving to them?”

Pakistan’s first match will be against South Korea on October 19 followed by games against India (Oct 20), Oman (22nd), Japan (24th) and Malaysia (25th). After the round robin leagues matches, the playoffs will start on October 27.

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