PHF calls back retired stars

Karachi: The Pakistan Hockey Federation
today recalled senior players like Sohail Abbas, Rehan Butt
and Zeeshan Ashraf, who had announced their retirements after
the team finished bottom of the heap in the World Cup in

The PHF also recalled Waseem Ahmed and Salman Akbar for a
national camp being set up from June 20 in Karachi to prepare
for a tour to Europe ahead of the Commonwealth Games and Asian

All these players had announced their retirements after
the World Cup debacle in India.

Gearing up for the Commonwealth and Asian Games this
year, the PHF has also decided to rope in a foreign coach for
the team.

The decision to appoint a foreign coach was taken by the
executive board of the PHF after a meeting in Lahore in which
the team`s performance in recent months was reviewed.

Pakistan finished last in the World Cup earlier this year
in New Delhi which led to an upheaval in the hockey set up
with coach Shahid Ali Khan and manager Asif Bajwa removed and
the national selectors also resigning.

Pakistan took part in the Azlan Shah Cup in Malaysia last
month with a new look side finishing fifth.

"The board has given approval to appoint a foreign coach
and we have three candidates in the shortlist. All three have
agreed to come and accept the assignment," PHF secretary Asif
Bajwa said.

He didn`t name the candidates but said one of them would
be finalised after getting the approval from the Federal
sports minister and government later this week.

Sources said Paul Lissek of Germany, Barry Dancer of
Australia and Michel Vann Den of Holland were shortlisted for
the job.

Bajwa said PHF had held discussions with all three
foreigners and all of them had no concerns about the security
situation in Pakistan.

"They are willing to come and coach the national team
ahead of important events. Now we have to finalise one name
and we will do it shortly."

Bajwa said the executive board had decided to go for a
foreign coach once again to revive the fortunes of the team.


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