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I am still learning, says Sohail Abbas

October 04, 2004 20:41 IST

He may have equalled Paul Litjens's record as the leading goal scorer in hockey, but Sohail Abbas is not ready to accept that he is in the same league as the former Dutch penalty-corner expert.

Abbas scored two goals in Pakistan's 3-1 victory over India in Delhi on Monday to take his goal tally to 267 goals. With three more matches to go in the series, the Pakistani is all set to surge ahead.

"It's a big honour to reach the mark. It's a great feeling to equal Litjens. But I am still learning and when comparison with Litjens comes, I still consider myself a kid," Sohail told reporters after the match.

The stage was perfect, so was the opposition and the venue. The ace drag-flicker said he could not have asked for anything better to equal the record.

"It's great to equal Litjens in the Friendship Series against India and in India. It's nice to achieve the feat over here, where the crowd was just fantastic.

"I enjoyed every bit of the match, although it was a bit humid and we took some time to settle down," the 29-year-old player said.

Abbas, who has the distinction of scoring the highest number of goals in a calendar year with 60 strikes, is also the fastest player to reach both 100 and 200 goals.

But more than setting any target for himself, Abbas, who made his international debut in 1998, is happy playing for Pakistan.

"I am quite happy to score goals; I never set any target. So I am a little surprised to reach the milestone today. At best I was looking to do well in this series and the December Champions Trophy which is quite important for us," said Abbas, a veteran of 210 internationals.

He was happy to see Pakistan get off to a good start in India and hoped the players would carry forward the good work in the remaining matches of the series.

"It's a perfect start. We played well and, more importantly, performed as a team. That made the difference in the end," he said.

Abbas also spoke highly of the Indian team, saying the young side has a great future.

"It is a good team though it lost today. The players are really fine performers and I have no doubt that India will bounce back to the top very soon."


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