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Sohail Abbas retires
December 12, 2004 17:24 IST
Pakistan's penalty corner expert and world's highest goal scorer Sohail Abbas announced his retirement from the game on Sunday.
The announcement came after Pakistan clinched the bronze medal beating arch-rivals 3-2 in the Champions Trophy hockey tournament in Lahore.
"I have played enough for my country and it is now time for youngsters to take over," said the 28-year-old who scored 274 goals during his seven-year career.
"I am getting married in two week's time and that will start a new chapter of my life," said Sohail.
Pakistan skipper Waseem Ahmed also announced his retirement from international hockey.
Waseem, who was recently appointed captain before the Test series against India, said he was vacating his slot for young players but that he would continue playing in the European league.
"I have been playing for 13 years now. I think the time has come to say good bye to the game. I need some mental and physical rest," the diminutive mid-fielder said.
"We have some very promising players coming up and keeping an eye on the future, we need to have a young side," said the veteran of over 250 internationals.
Waseem, who besides Sohail, was the only Pakistani to be included in the World XI which played against Holland in 1999 as part of the FIH's 75th anniversary celebrations, said he would not mind coming back to the fold for the 2006 World Cup if the team needed him.
"I may consider if they need me. But I know that's not happen since the young players in the side are doing a great job," he said.
"But as of now I will take a break before continuing playing in the European league," said Waseem who got the man of the match award in Pakistan's 3-2 win over India in the bronze medal match.