Pakistan hockey team gears up for Sultan Azlan Shah, FIH Nations Cup

PHF Secretary Rana Mujahid has sought all possible help from the PSB to organise the camp

April 03, 2024
Pakistan hockey team. - PHF

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) has planned to organise the national hockey camp to prepare for back-to-back international events in two phases starting with the first phase on April 15 here at the Bunda Stadium. The upcoming international events will be starting with Azlan Shah Cup in Malaysia.

In a letter addressed to the director general Pakistan Sports Board (PSB), PHF Secretary Rana Mujahid has sought all possible help from the PSB to organise the camp for the preparation of two international events in a befitting manner. The first phase of the camp will start on April 15 till the team’s departure for Azlan Shah Cup starting in Ipoh on May 4th.

The second phase of the camp is planned from May 15 till the departure of the team for the FIH Nations Cup getting underway in Poland from May 31.

“We will be obliged if all the necessary arrangements would be made to organise the national hockey camp in two phases starting from April 15 to May 2 in connection with the preparations for the two international events,” the letter sent to PSB says.

Besides competing in the Azlan Shah Cup, Pakistan have also confirmed their entry in the Nations Cup to be held in Poland. The PHF added that around 50 probables are expected to attend the first phase of the camp.

“Besides boarding and lodging, the PSB is requested to arrange daily allowances for the team members.” ‘The News’ has also learnt that the PHF has started negotiations with the former Dutch coach Roelant Oltmans to join the camp after Eid.

Oltmans was the one who helped Pakistan juniors reach the quarter-finals of the Junior World Cup. Later, change in the guards at the helm of PHF resulted in his parting ways with Pakistan hockey for the Olympic qualifiers.

Pakistan team which participated in the Olympics qualifiers held in Oman under Head Coach Shahnaz Sheikh failed to earn a place in the Paris Olympics. Had Oltmans been with the team, there was all the likelihood that Pakistan would have achieved a place in the Olympics.

A victory in the Nations Cup to be held in Poland would help Pakistan improve their ranking and also take the Greenshirts into the Pro-League. The city of Gniezno, Poland, will host the Nations Cup involving some of the best teams in the world -- Poland, Korea, Malaysia, France, South Africa, Pakistan, Canada, Austria, and New Zealand, the team relegated from the 2022-23 FIH Hockey Pro League.

Abdul Mohi Shah is a senior reporter for The News