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Sohail denies coming out of retirement
March 11, 2005 16:12 IST
Pakistan penalty-corner ace Sohail Abbas has dismissed the Pakistan Hockey Federation's claim that he has come out of retirement, saying "it is not true".
"I am a retired player and I have not informed the PHF that I have come out of it," Abbas said.
The Pakistan Hockey Federation's chairman of selectors Chaudhry Akhtar Rasool had told a news conference that Abbas and Waseem Ahmed had reversed their decisions, announced in December.
"I don't know why they announced that but I have not reversed my decision. If the PHF says I have given it in writing, then what can I say?
"I have not said anything verbally, what to talk of giving in writing," Abbas, respected in hockey circles because of his down to earth attitude, said.
However, the world record holder for highest number of international goals (274) left open one door for a comeback.
"I have always insisted that if the team or the country requires me, I will be available for major tournaments. And I maintain that," he said.
Asked what he meant by major, he replied: "The major can be the 2006 World Cup."
On the experience of playing in the Premier Hockey League in India, for Hyderabad Sultans, Abbas said, "It was absolutely fascinating. The hospitality, love, appreciation, recognition and praise I received is something I will cherish for the rest of my life.
"Not for a second it felt to me that I was not playing in Pakistan. It was awesome," he said.
Hyderabad Sultans clinched the inaugural championship and Abbas said he would love to return for another season.
"I have not been approached or offered next year's contract. But if an offer is made I will definitely consider it."
He said the competition was well-organised and competitive.
"The best players played in one league, which was extremely well-organised, publicised and marketed. I think there was fun and attraction for everyone, be it the organisers, sponsors, public or players," he said.