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Pakistan name hockey squad for India series

February 08, 2006 23:37 IST

The temperamental Mohammad Saqlain was on Wednesday retained as the captain of a 20-member squad named for the six-match hockey series against India starting later this month.

The team was announced by Chief Selector and former captain Chaudhry Akhtar Rasool in the presence of Pakistan Hockey Federation Secretary Brigadier Musarratullah Khan, coach Asif Bajwa and manager Saeed Khan after the conclusion of two-day trials in Islamabad.

Saqlain had escaped with a three-match ban for rough tackle against a German player during the Hamburg four-nation tournament last year. The player has a history of indiscipline and was also left out of Athens Olympics after falling out with the then Dutch coach Rolant Oltsman.

Overall, Pakistan made just a few changes to the squad that finished fifth in the Champions Trophy in December last year, leaving out Akhtar Ali and including Mudassar Khan.

Shabbir and Mohammad Zubair were added to the squad.

"After the Indian series, we will select the best 16 players for the Melbourne Commonwealth Games," Rasool said.

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The series, to be played on home and away basis, will open in Chandigarh where the first two games will be played on February 17 and 18 while the third will be played in Jalandhar on February 20.

The second half of the series will be hosted by Pakistan at Rawalpindi (Feb 22), Faisalabad (Feb 24) and Lahore (Feb 26).

Pakistan squad: Mohammad Saqlain (captain), Salman Akbar, Nasir Ahmed, Zeeshan Ashraf, Mohammad Imran, Imran Warsi, Imran Khan, Dilawar Bhatti, Adnan Maqsood, Sajjad Anwer, Rehan Butt, Mudassar Ali Khan (vice-captain), Shakeel Abbasi, Tariq Aziz, Shabbir Husain, Adnan Zakir, Mudassar Khan, Waqas Sharif, Shabbir Khan, Mohmmad Zubair.

Samiul Hasan
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