KARACHI: Former Pakistan hockey captain Shakeel Abbasi has said that he was disappointed at not being considered to play in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup.
Eight senior players, namely, Shakeel Abbasi, Rehan Butt, Zeeshan Ashraf, Waseem Ahmed, Imran Warsi, Tariq Aziz, Adnan Maqsood and Mudassar Ali Khan, have been issued show cause notices by the PHF for taking part in the WHS in India in March/April despite having been warned of dire consequences by the federation earlier.
“I was hoping that the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) Disciplinary Committee would have been through with its inquiry by the time the PHF announced the team and we would be a part of the squad as well but that was not the case,” he said while speaking to Dawn on Monday.
“We are waiting to be called to play for Pakistan. I don’t know how long we will have to wait before we finally get a chance to do so. We have other offers, too, you know but we prefer to be available to play for our country. It was sad that we weren’t considered for Azlan Shah,” he said.
“I am quite fit right now but I don’t know for how long I can maintain my fitness while sitting at home. I’ve been going to the gym regularly, but it still isn’t the same thing,” he pointed out.
Meanwhile, the other former captain Rehan Butt who is also sitting out and hoping for a decision in his favour by the Disciplinary Committee, said that he wasn’t so concerned about not being included in the Azlan Shah squad but it was about time the PHF took a decision on them. “Well, I’ve already featured in 12 Azlan Shah tournaments so far, so not getting included there is not that big a problem for me,” he said.
“What really is an issue for me is that when Germany, Holland and India can recall their boys who played in the World Hockey Series (WHS) for the sake of fielding a strong team in the Olympics, then why can’t the PHF also do the same thing?”
The first hearing of the disciplinary committee looking into the matter was held on May 7.