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No place for Pakistan in Azlan Shah hockey tournament

March 16, 2017 21:07 IST

 Pakistani players react after winning the Champions Trophy semi-final game against India in 2015

The Pakistan Hockey Federation has sought the intervention of Asian Hockey Federation after its team has been dumped from the forthcoming Azlan Shah tournament to be held from April 26 in Malaysia.

"We are very disappointed at the way the Azlan Shah Cup organisers have dropped us from the tournament and included England in our place," PHF secretary Shahbaz Ahmad said on Thursday.

Without elaborating on the reasons for the Pakistan team being dropped from the high-profile tournament, he said that Pakistan had played a big role in promotion and development of hockey in Malaysia.

"We have written to the AHF to intervene and do something because it is disappointing to be in this position. We had already made a lot of preparations to send the team to Malaysia. It was important for us since the World Cup qualifiers are also due to take place in June in London," he said.

Pakistan has been a regular in the Azlan Shah tournament since 1983, having won it thrice but in 2014 it withdrew from the competition due to lack of funds.

Last year Pakistan finished fifth in the event.

Shahbaz said that the PHF would now try to arrange test matches for the team in Germany, Belgium, Argentina and Spain to prepare for the 2018 World Cup qualifiers.

Image: A file photo of Pakistani players reacting after winning the Champions Trophy semi-final game against India in 2015 (Image used for representational purposes)

Photograph: PTI

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