The entire coaching staff of Pakistan men’s hockey team was reportedly sacked by country’s sports board-run committee after it failed reach the semi-final of the recently-concluded Asian Champions Trophy in India. Shahnaz Sheikh has been named the head coach but the move has courted controversy with the person in question being a part of the Pakistan Sports Board run committee that apparently issued ‘Pink Slips’ to Rehan Butt, Muhammad Saqlain, Haseem Khan and Muhammad Ghafoor, who were all in Chennai for the Asian Champions Trophy in Chennai.
Shahnaz has been a head coach earlier also. He was also named as a consultant and was scheduled to travel to Chennai for ACT but Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) couldn’t obtain a visa for him on time.
PHF insiders informed that Shahnaz was not happy with the development and believed the PHF didn’t do enough to ensure he got the visa on time and travelled with the team, which finished fifth in the six-team competition won by India.
India thrashed Pakistan 4-0 in a league match. This is why, soon after the team returned home, the committee, which included Shahnaz and other former Olympians Akhtar Rasool and Islahuddin Siddiqui, supported the PSB decision to dissolve the PHF.
The new set of coaches, which will work with Shahnaz, include Shakeel Abbasi, Amjad Ali and Dilawar Hussain.
The fascinating part is that with the PSB dissolving the PHF, the hockey circle is mystified by how the PHF announced the change in the team management and appointment of Shahnaz as head coach for the Asian Games.
Meanwhile, the PHF national selection committee, led by Olympian Kaleemullah, announced 36 probables for the Asian Games. These probables will attend a training camp starting at the Naseer Bunda Hockey Stadium in Islamabad on Tuesday.
Probables: Goalkeepers: Akmal Hussain, Abdullah Ishtiyaq Khan, Waqar, Ali Raza, Abdullah Sheikh. Defenders: Mohammad Abdullah, Arbaz Ahmad, Mohammad Sufyan Khan, Aqeel Ahmed, Mohammad Bilal Aslam. Midfielders: Usama Bashir, Mohammad Murtaza Yaqoob, Arbaz Ayaz, Ahtisham Aslam, Mohammad Baqar, Mohammad Nadeem Khan, Mohammad Imran, Syed Shehbaz Haider Forwards: Mohammad Imad, Afraz, Roman, Arshad Liaquat, Abdul Qayyum, Abdul Rehman, Waqar Ali, Mohammad Arsalan, Mohammad Umar Bhat, Abdul Hannan Shahid, Mohammad Shahzaib Khan, Abdul Wahab, Zikriya Hayat, Bisharat Ali, Rana Waleed, Hamza Fayaz, Abdul Rehman.
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