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Pakistan to skip Asia Cup hockey
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May 30, 2007 17:56 IST
Last Updated: May 30, 2007 18:57 IST

Pakistan have opted out of the Asia Cup hockey tournament this year following a request from the team management that the players need to spend more time on rectifying their flaws.

"Our team will not be playing in the Asia Cup," PHF secretary Khalid Mehmood was quoted as saying by The News.

"We have taken the decision on the request of the team management," he added.

Asked why Pakistan are skipping the Asia Cup, to be held in Chennai in September, but are desperate to compete in a couple of tournaments in Russia and China in July and August respectively, Mehmood said: "May be the tournaments in Russia and China are more important for us than the Asia Cup. It is for us to decide where to send our team."

However, Pakistan coach Manzoor-ul-Hassan said he was not aware of any such development.

"As far as I know, a decision is yet to be taken on the Asia Cup," he said.

Pakistan, who have been going through a slump in performance, dished out a below par showing in the recent eight-nation Azlan Shah Cup, finishing sixth.

But Mehmood rejected the theory that Pakistan decided to skip the Asia Cup because of the fear of losing.

"Winning and losing are both part of life," he said.

"That is why we are not scared of losing. The only reason why we are not going (for the Asia Cup) is to allow the team management more time to help our players overcome their flaws," he explained.

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