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Sohail Abbas comes out of retirement
July 04, 2006 20:38 IST
Two years after hanging his boots, ace Pakistani drag-flicker Sohail Abbas has decided to return to international hockey and help Pakistan rediscover their winning ways.
Abbas, whose deadly drag-flicks earned him a record 278 goals, said he had conveyed his decision to the Pakistan Hockey Federation and it was now up to them to decide on his selection.
"I had decided to quit international hockey at my peak and that's why I retired after the Champions Trophy in 2004. But now I feel Pakistan hockey needs me. It hurts to see Pakistan lose in prestigious events," Abbas told a news conference on Tuesday.
Pakistan have been unimpressive on the international stage of late. With much difficulty, they managed to qualify for the World Cup by finishing fourth in the qualifiers in Changzhou, China, while they finished a disappointing fifth in the Azlan Shah hockey tournament in Kuala Lumpur last month.
However, although Abbas hopes to be back in the team for this month's Champions Trophy in Teresa (Spain), the Pakistan Hockey Federation is non-committal about his return.
PHF secretary Musarratullah Khan said the federation would seek the opinion of the team management before taking a decision on the veteran player.
"He has just announced his unconditional return to international hockey. While he has fulfilled PHF's requirement, we need to consult the team management and selectors before inviting him to the Champions Trophy training camp," he said.