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PSB issues NOC to PHF for Asian Hockey Champions Trophy in India


ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) on Thursday, issued a No-Objection Certificate (NOC) to the national men’s Hockey team to partake in the upcoming Asian Hockey Champions Trophy in Chennai, India.

According to the details, the national men’s hockey team has already received the visa for India and will now travel to the neighbouring country on July 31.

Earlier this month, the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) selection committee unveiled an 18-member squad for the Asian Hockey Champions Trophy.

According to the details, the 18-member squad with seven stand-by players were finalised after the conclusion of two-day trials and was approved by PHF President Brigadier Khalid Sajjad Khokhar.

Umar Bhutta will continue to lead the national men’s hockey team while Abdul Waheed Ashraf will serve as his deputy in the Asian Champions Trophy.

The recently-announced squad includes Akmal Hussain, Abdullah Ishtiaq Khan, Muhammad Abdullah, Muhammad Sufyan Khan, Ehtisham Aslam, Osama Bashir, Aqeel Ahmed, Arshad Liaquat, Muhammad Imad, Abdul Hanan Shahid, Zakaria Hayat, Rana Abdul Waheed Ashraf (vc), Muhammad Umar Bhatta (c), Roman, Muhammad Murtaza Yaqub, Muhammad Shahzaib Khan, Afraz and Abdul Rahman.

Meanwhile, Ali Raza, Muhammad Baqir, Muhammad Nadeem Khan, Abdul Wahab, Waqar Ali, Muhammad Arsalan and Abdul Qayyum have been included in the stand-by players’ list.

Last month, the Asian Hockey Federation (AHF) unveiled the schedule of the upcoming Asian Hockey Champions Trophy.

As per the statement released by the AHF, the six-team tournament will run from August 3 to 12 in Chennai.

The tournament will begin with Korea and Japan playing the first game, while hosts, India will play the third game of the opening day when they take on China.

The six-team tournament will see Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, Japan, China, and India battle it out for top honours. All the participating teams are placed in one pool and the positions on the points table will be decided by a league system.

Pakistan will start their Asian Hockey Champions Trophy campaign against Malaysia on August 3 before taking on Korea on August 4, Japan on August 6 and China on August 7.

The green shirts will then lock horns with arch-rivals India in their last round fixture on August 9.

The final of the Asian Hockey Champions Trophy will be held on August 12.

Notably, Pakistan and India are the most successful sides of the tournament, having won the title thrice each while Korea will participate in the upcoming edition as the defending champions, who won the previous edition in 2021.

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