is developing into a fine outfit'
In such a big competition no team is an easy prey. Despite the
withdrawal of the Olympic champions Australia (on security grounds),
the rest of the participating teams are also tough opponents. Pakistan
captain Wasim Ahmed, however, is upbeat about the prospects of his
charges doing well in the event.
As the forthcoming Champions Trophy returns to Pakistan after a
long interregnum of six years, captain Wasim Ahmed is upbeat about
the prospects of his charges doing well in the event.
"In such a big competition no team is an easy prey. Despite
the withdrawal of the Olympic champions Australia (on security grounds),
the rest of the participating teams are also tough.
S aid W asim talking to many changes after Athens, we are this
scribe at Lahore's National Hockey Stadium.Facing such a testing
line-up of teams, Pakistan still have the ability tougher than what
they to produce good results not because experienced in their comprehensive
it has home advantage but alsobecause, to quote Wasim, "we
are to raise the level of our developing into a fine outfit".
Wasim believes that Pakistan have from the Indian series. That
said, I a good chance of emerging at the top or somewhere closer
to it because the whole team has done a an excellent account of
itself". good job in the recent series against Talking about
the India series, the India. "We have left the disappointment
of the Olympic Games behind us, and in spite of so opponents",
S aid he.Wasim is not oblivious to the fact that the contests would
be far series win against India. "We have performances quite
a few notches am positive that this Pakistan team has the capacity
to do so and give Pakistan captain said that the team was a bit
tired as they got very littl~.
'We have to raise the level of our performances quite a few notches
from the Indian series. That said, I am positive that this Pakistan
team has the capacity to do so and give an excellent account of
time after the Olympics. "We did not have enough time to even
have proper training, still we won the series. "The situation
is relatively different now as we have had time enough time between
the events to get a proper rest," he said.
'We need to perform on the ground and have to take every match
with renewed passion. I have every hope that if we are able to do
so, we would be able to make the final'
"The Champions Trophy every match is more or less like a final,
as often there are no comebacks. Sometimes not winning a single
match condemns a side to the classification game for the fifth sixth
position instead of playing for gold".
Wasim anticipates that every team other than Spain and New Zealand
would field an outfit slightly different than the one at the Olympic
Games. "Spain and New Zealand would be entering the event at
full strength. And both these two teams would be hard to beat, especially
Spain and even we cannot take the defending Champions Holland lightly
either," said Wasim, quickly adding that India too have a good
track record at Lahore.
With skipper Nadeem, Ali Raza. and Ahmed Alam having called it
a day, Pakistan too has seen three changes in its squad since the
Athens Olympics. Wasim however believes that the youngsters are
good enough to fill the breach. "The return of experienced
pivot Mohammad Saqlain - made to sit out the Olympics on disciplinary
grounds - too is a positive development.
While Adnan Maqsood is a good understudy for the position, but
being a youngster he needs time to mature and be good enough to
man the critical position," said he.
The Pakistan captain has great faith in his bunch of forwards Rehan
Butt, Mudassar Ali Khan, Kashif Jawad, Shabbir Ahmed,Shakeel Abbasi
and Imran Warsicoming up good and score goals.
The young and ebullient Warsi, Wasim believes, has the potential
to surprise everyone during the champions trophy.