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Pakistan’s national hockey coach Hanif Khan said he felt an overall sense of satisfaction with the preparations for next month’s Azlan Shah Cup.

According to Hanif, the players had been showing great motivation during the training camp which was in progress at the National Stadium in Lahore.

 

The tournament, which will be played in Ipoh, Malaysia from March 9 to 17, will be the first international assignment for the greenshirts this year. They will be up against defending champions New Zealand, Australia, India, South Korea and hosts Malaysia in the competition.

 

Hanif said the training camp, which began last week, had gained full momentum.

 

“Players are both practicing for their matches while going through their fitness training as well,” Hanif told The Express Tribune after the conclusion of yesterday’s evening session.

 

 

“They are highly motivated and are keen to improve.  We are trying to eliminate our weaknesses and a lot of emphasis is being given to our defense and finishing.”

 

Rashid, Rizwan yet to report to camp

 

Meanwhile, Hanif said the team management had no clue about the whereabouts of the seasoned duo of Mohammad Rizwan Senior and Rashid Mehmood.

 

Both the players, according to reports, have been busy featuring in the Dutch League.

 

Hanif, who was unaware of the reports, said the players had not sought the team management’s permission.

 

“They haven’t informed or sought permission from the team management for such a commitment. However, we have many options of new players and the tournament will be a good opportunity for them to gain international exposure.”

 

Published in The Express Tribune, February 18th, 2013.