Pakistan hockey team’s head coach Shahnaz Sheikh is likely to miss the upcoming Asian Champions Trophy in India due to a delay in visa issuance. As per sources, Sheikh has not received his visa yet and won’t be able to travel with the national squad to India.
All the players in the squad have already received their visas after the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) was issued a No-Objection Certificate (NOC) by the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB). However, Sheikh’s visa application was submitted after his appointment as the head coach last week.
The national team is set to travel to India via the Wagah Border tomorrow, making their way to Chennai from Amritsar by road. The Asian Champions Trophy is scheduled to take place in Chennai from August 3 to 12.
In the tournament, Pakistan is set to play their first match against Malaysia on August 3. They will also face off against Korea, Japan, China, and arch-rivals India on August 4, 6, 7, and 9, respectively.
The squad for the tournament includes Muhammad Umar Bhatta as captain, with Akmal Hussain, Abdullah Ishtiaq Khan, Muhammad Abdullah, Muhammad Sufyan Khan, Ehtsham Aslam, Osama Bashir, Aqeel Ahmed, Arshad Liaquat, Muhammad Imad, Abdul Hanan Shahid, Zakaria Hayat, Rana Abdul Waheed Ashraf as vice-captain, Roman, Muhammad Murtaza Yaqoob, Muhammad Shahzaib Khan, Afraz, and Abdul Rahman. The standby players include Ali Raza, Muhammad Baqir, Muhammad Nadeem Khan, Abdul Wahab, Waqar Ali, Muhammad Arsalan, and Abdul Qayyum.
Despite the challenges, the team is looking forward to putting up a strong performance in the tournament and making their country proud on the field.