Saturday April 01, 2023

Uzbekistan hockey team to train in Pakistan

April 17, 2022

ISLAMABAD: Uzbekistan’s national hockey team is due in Pakistan on April 22 on a training cum competition trip in an effort to sharpen their skills ahead of the Asia Cup qualifying round.

‘The News’ has learned from well-placed sources that the Uzbekistan team had requested Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) to accommodate their national squad for a series of matches and training programme.

“PHF has accepted their request for training and competition. The visitors are due to arrive here when the Pakistan team would already have left for the European tour for six Tests against some of the best European teams. PHF, however, has planned good competition for the visitors in order to prepare them for coming internationals. Despite missing some top twenty players we have enough backup strength to provide the tourists a healthy competition.”

Sources said that PHF is planning to hold a four-team competition for Uzbekistan during their stay in Lahore.

“ Yes, we are thinking in that term where teams from Punjab, Wapda, and Army will make it a four-team competition. On one hand, the four-team event would help the visitors to gain much-needed competition at the other some of the leading names who would miss the trip to Europe will gain required exposure. We will try to field the best backup players against visitors.”

PHF has already intimated Punjab government to make the required arrangements for the four-team event.

“Uzbekistan has always looked up to Pakistan when it comes to technical support in the game of hockey and we have always lived up to their trust. This time again we are organizing an event for them. Hopefully, the team would return home well versed and well equipped.”

Meanwhile, the Asian Hockey Federation has yet to finalise the draws of the Asia Cup which has been seen as the launching pad for the revival of Pakistan hockey.

Pakistan has been grouped along with two strong outfits India and Japan. One of the qualifiers will also be joining the four teams in each group.