Karachi: Former Pakistan captain and penalty corner specialist, Sohail Abbas and experienced forward, Rehan Butt failed to find a place in the list of probables announced by the national hockey federation for the Azlan Shah hockey tournament in Malaysia.
Both the Olympians were missing from the list of 25 probables, who will attend a training camp under the supervision of head coach, Akhtar Rasool and coach, Hanif Khan before the Azlan Shah Cup hockey tournament.
The camp is scheduled to begin from February 10 in Lahore to prepare for the competition in Ipoh from March 9th to 17th that also includes India. Pakistan plays its opening game on the 9th against New Zealand.
The federation has included all those nine players who had to return from India without playing in the Indian Hockey League due to security issues surrounding Pakistani sportsmen in India.
The PHF has given authority to the chief coach and coach to finalize the squad of 18 for the tournament.
Pakistan Hockey has seen a upward trend since Rasool and Hanif took over, finishing with bronze medal in the Champions Trophy in Melbourne and winning the Asian Champions Trophy in Doha after beating India in the final.
Probables: Imran Shah, Imran Butt, Kashif Shah, Mohammad Imran, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Tauseeq, Fareed Ahmed, Rashid Mehmood, Mohammad Waqas, Shafqat Rasool, Haseem Khan, Ali Shan, Mohammad Atiq, Wasim Ahmed, Kashif Ali, Shakeel Abbasi, Mohammad Irfan, Salman Hussain, Umer Bhutta, Rizwan Jnr, Irfan Jnr, Mohammad Dilbar, Khalid Bhatti, Tasawar Abbas and Talal Khalid.
I`ve always said the person who wins the world championship this year is the person who does the best job on the circuit, but that does not seem the way it is at the moment.