Pakistan hockey team has reached to India to compete in men’s hockey world cup 2018 at Odisha and officials have welcomed players at the Wagah border on 24 November. Indian hockey federation officials were present to attend the players from arch-rival nation.
Skipper Mohammed Rizwan Sr and team looked happy by the gesture shown by Indian authorities at the Wagah Border. He is also optimistic about the side and chances of winning the world cup. Rizwan said that they came India to win the tournament and would play attacking hockey.
“We’re happy to receive such kind of warm welcome and we are here to play good hockey. To become champions of world cup, we need to play aggressive and attacking game,” Rizwan told SportsMirchi reporter.
Pakistan are currently on the 13th spot in FIH rankings but they can really shock the top teams in the competition.
Initially there were clouds on the participation of inaugural world cup winner as visas were not issued from Indian High Commission. Later IHC issued visas to all squad members as government policy is made that if there is a world class event like world cup, Pakistani players will be allowed to come to India and take part in the tournament.
Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) was facing financial issues that were not allowing them to send players for world cup. However Haier helped and became sponsors of Pakistan Hockey Team until 2020.
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Four-time hockey world champions will be taking on Germany in their first match of HWC 2018 on 1st December at Kalinga Stadium from 7:00 PM IST and 6:30 PM PKT. Meanwhile 14th edition of hockey world cup is all set to start on 28 November in host city Bhuvneshwar.
Pakistan team is placed in Pool D of competition and team to compete against Malaysia and Netherlands in their rest two group matches on 5 and 9 December.
Imran Butt, Mazhar Abbas, Mohammed Irfan (Sr), Mubashar Ali, Tauseeq Arshad, Aleem Bilal, Rashid Mahmood, Ajaz Ahmed, Ammad Tasawwar Abbas, Mohammed Irfan (Jr.), Faisal Qadir, Mohammed Rizwan (Sr.), Ali Shan, Shakeel Butt, Abubakr Mahmood, Atiq Arshad, Mohammad Zubair, Umar Bhutta.