Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Zeeshan to lead Pakistan men's hockey team in CWG

Experienced defender Zeeshan Ashraf has passed a fitness test and will lead Pakistan in the Commonwealth Games hockey tournament in Delhi next month.

Ashraf is at the helm of a 16-man squad that also includes Kashif Javed, who also managed to pass a fitness test ahead of the team's departure for the Indian capital which will host the Games from Oct 3.

The team will leave for Delhi Sep 29.

Pakistan's chief selector Hanif Khan said Tuesday that after observing the performance and fitness of players during the European tour the selection committee has finalised the team. He said the Pakistan team has the capability to reach the victory stand at the Commonwealth Games.

Ten teams are taking part in the hockey event starting from Oct 5. Pool A comprises of Australia, Pakistan, Malaysia, India and Scotland, while pool B has England, New Zealand, Canada, South Africa and Trinidad and Tobago. Pakistan will play its first match against Scotland on Oct 5, second match against Malaysia on Oct 6, third match against Australia Oct 9 and fourth match against India Oct 10.

Classification matches and semi finals will be played Oct 12, while final and bronze medal matches will be played Oct 14.

Former Olympian Khawaja Muhammad Junaid will be the team manager, Michel Van Den will be the coach, Ahmad Alam and Ajmal Khan Lodhi will act as assistant coaches.

Pakistan squad: Zeeshan Ashraf (Captain), Muhammad Imran, Muhammad Irfan, Waseem Ahmad, Muhammad Rashid, Fareed Ahmad, Shafqat Rasool, Rehan Butt, Shakeel Abbasi, Abdul Haseem Khan, Muhammad Waqas Sharif, Muhammad Rizwan, Muhammad Umar Bhutta, Imran Shah, Muhammad Tauseeq and Muhammad Kashif Javed.

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