Saturday, May 1, 2010

Shakeel and Rehan in conduct breach

KARACHI, (APP)- Hockey Chief selector Hanif Khan has expressed his surprise over the sharp reaction of forwards Shakeel Abbasi and Rehan Butt after their dropping from the Azlan Shah squad.
“Its breach of code of conduct and Pakistan Hockey Federation officials should deal the issue as per the regulations,” Olympian Hanif Khan told APP on Friday.
“Its is very surprising. I myself faced the same situation and was dropped from the team despite assurance from the management for selection in the national team in the past.” Hanif recalled.
“Selection has given an authority and we fulfill our job on merit, form and fitness. We consider the report of manager/chief coach etc before the finalising the team,” he said.
Hanif Muhammad implementing the code of conduct was job of PHF Secretary Asif Bajwa.
Senior players Shakeel Abbasi and Rehan Butt expressed the surprise over the dropping soon after an 18-member squad was named for the Malaysian event.
He said the performance and fitness of those dropped were not up to the mark. Abbasi, Rehan, Sohail Abbas and Nasir all failed to impress us,” he said.
However he made it clear doors are opens for all the senior players in future and they cane stage comeback provided they proved their form and fitness. “We can not comprise on form and fitness,” he said.
He said all the players looked fatigued and their performance and fitness in the World Cup was not upto the mark and same was observed in the camp.
“Keeping in situation we opt for young squad with an eye on Commonwealth and Asian Games,” he pointed out.

Associated Press of Pakistan

Indians alledge witch-hunt

AS THE new-look Indian hockey team for the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup left late on Friday night, conspicuous by their absence in the tour party was a group of players who had revolted during the pre-World Cup camp at Pune earlier this year.
It all started when Deepak Thakur and Prabhjot Singh were omitted from the list of 40 probables. The official reason for their sacking was their poor performance in the World Cup and their lack of fitness. Interestingly, both were at the forefront of the players’ revolt and had asked for graded contracts and players contract. The final 18 saw two more leading names from the core group of striking players, goalkeeper Adrian D’Souza and midfielder Vikram Pillay, being left out.
The lone survivor happens to be Arjun Halappa. Speaking on behalf of the dropped seniors Thakur says, “We knew beforehand that this could happen, it’s no surprise.”
This mass sacking is almost reminiscent of the 1998 episode when six seniors were dropped just after the Asian Games. While back then the national coach, too, was shown the door, this time around things are a bit different. Present coach Jose Brasa has been gagged. “I am not supposed to talk to the media,” is the only comment Brasa makes these days.
Those dropped insist they don’t mind fighting their way back to the team. “But the federation doesn’t seem too interested in trying us out. I guess they are worried about another player revolt,” say a World Cupper who wasn’t on the flight to Malaysia.
Broken promises
The chances of another uprising are bright since the promise made by the Hockey India officials to defuse the revolt haven’t been kept. The selectors and federation justify the selection by saying that the Azlan Shah tournament was an opportunity to “give a the youngsters a chance”.
But with 29-year-old goalkeeper Bharat Chetri included in the team, it becomes clear that it wasn’t the age that went in his favour. The Azlan Shah tournament happens to be Chetri’s first international after the 2008 Olympic qualifier and coach Harendra Singh admits he is rusty. Goalkeeping coach Romeo James says that it was tough to get D’Souza’s replacement, but that hasn’t stopped the selectors from keeping him out. Among the youngsters who could have been tried are Roshan Minz, Bikash Toppo and Dharamvir Singh, to name a few.
Thakur wants to know the selection criteria. “If poor form was the reason, there were many others in the team who failed to perform in the World Cup. Besides, we were part of the core group of players formed in 2008 for the Commonwealth Games. Even if we were not good enough for this tournament, why were we not included in the camp,” he asks.
Prabhjot’s case is more curious. Except for the World Cup, he has been in good form for the past one year. But his disappointing show in a couple of games in the World Cup gave the officials an excuse to axe him.
Meanwhile, Pillay’s dropping, too, is mysterious. First the selectors said he was dropped but later they said he was being rested.

Indian Express

Scotland give Australia a 1-2 scare


P W D L F A Pts
Australia 3 3 0 0 16 0 9
Scotland 2 1 0 1 3 2 3
Chile 2 1 0 1 1 5 3
Malaysia 3 1 0 2 3 10 3
Ireland 2 0 0 2 0 5 0

ALTHOUGH Australia won, it was an outstanding performance from Scotland that kept everybody captivated and the score was not guaranteed until the final whistle.
During the first part of the match Australia battled for the ball possession but the Scottish was determined to compete. Scotland pressure the Hockeyroos most of the time limiting them to very few scoring opportunities.
Nevertheless, Australia managed to create successful Penalty Corners (3 in the first half) and scored two beautiful goals as a result of great efforts made by Casey EASTHAM who deflected the ball through the goalkeeper into the net. The second goal just shy of half time arrived by Australia’s captain Madonna BLYTH, al a great deflection goal into the net.
Scotland obtained their first Penalty Corner after a team effort lead by Alison BELL who created an attack from the right side of the field. However, Hope MUNRO, the first runner outer stopped their attempt to score.
Australia tried to shift the ball side to side in order to create spaces in Scotland’s defense with no success. The game continued to be a battle and Scotland utilized effectively the fact that MUNRO was out of the field with a Green card to create more pressure to the rattled Hockeyroos.
Australia had good combinations between the young Anna Flanagan from the back left field, Teneal ATTARD and Kobie McGURK also from the defense unit, who showed great composure to control the Scottish attacks.
Scotland aimed for Penalty Corners and long passes into the circle helped by spaces left by the Australians. They successfully created two Penalty Corners during the second half with no great efficiency to conquer.
Australia even with their willingness to demonstrate their supremacy in the world ranking had not success in creating Penalty Corners in the second half. Kate HOLLYWOOD had the most impressive intent to score and stretch the lead. But her attempt was just missed over the cross bar.
Only minutes before the end of the match, Scotland managed to enter the circle by efforts of Scottish forwards. Holy CRAM was the responsible to give Scotland their only goal in this game.
Still, the final score (1:2) gave Australia the winning points and the lead in this BDO World Cup Qualifier, Santiago.

UniKL the better bet

UNIKL will face double champions Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS) today, and the outcome could well knock out one title contenders in Division One of the MHF-Milo-NSC Junior Hockey League.
BJSS were lucky to salvage a point in the 2-2 draw against Petaling Jaya City Council (PJCC) on Sunday, but if they do not buck up, they will be in for a drubbing in the hands of UniKL.
“We played in patches against PJCC and paid a heavy price, tomorrow (today) we have a second chance to salvage matters against UniKL and my players know that they can’t afford another mediocre display if they want to keep the title,” said BJSS coach S. Prakash.
UniKL coach I. Vickneswaran watches the BJSS-PJCC match and concluded that the sports school took matters lightly in the crucial match.
“My point of observation us that BJSS placed too much emphasis to prepare for the match against us, and took PJCC lightly.
“However, now that they have dropped two points, they will be out to make amends against us, and it could well turn out to be an exciting encounter,” said Vickneswaran.
The winner today still have Bandar Penawar Sports School Thunderbolt to contend with, as the southern sports school has also shown promise.
“We will embrace the BJSS match with confidence and I have a good feeling that my players will not disappoint. However, there is still Thunderbolt to play before we can start breathing easy,” said Vickneswaran.
In Division Two, leaders Ipoh City Council are expected to have an easy time collecting three points and further con solidating their standing when they play Negri Sembilan side Datuk Taha in Tampin.
TODAY: Division One -- Bukit Jalil Sports School v UniKL (Tun Razak Stadium, 5pm); Kelantan v PJCC (Kuala Tereng ganu, 5pm); Anderson vs BPSS Juniors (Azlan Shah Stadium, 5pm).
Division Two: Datuk Taha v Ipoh City Council (Tampin 5pm); Kuala Selangor v Pahang (Pandamaran, 3pm); Sabah v Tunku Besar Secondary School (Pandamaran, 5pm); Johor v Penang Frees (Johor Baru, 5pm).


P W D L F A Pts

UniKL 5 5 0 0 28 5 15
BJSS 5 4 1 0 17 3 13
Thunderbolt 4 4 0 0 25 3 12
Anderson 7 3 1 3 14 23 10
PJCC 6 2 1 3 13 14 7
BPSS Juniors 4 1 0 3 4 12 3
Kelantan 5 0 2 3 6 27 2
BJSS Juniors 5 0 1 4 2 17 1
MWHA 3 0 0 3 4 9 0


P W D L F A Pts
Ipoh CC 6 4 2 0 17 4 14
Pahang 4 4 0 0 14 8 12
Sabah 4 3 0 1 19 3 9
TBSS 5 2 2 1 15 7 8
Matri 5 1 1 3 7 8 4
Selangor 4 1 0 3 3 24 3
Frees 3 0 2 1 8 9 2
Johor 5 0 2 3 7 14 2
Datuk Taha 4 0 1 3 3 16 1