Lahore: The Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) has dropped senior players Sohail Abbas and Rehan Butt from the list of probables for the forthcoming Champions Trophy in Melbourne as part of its radical steps taken to improve the performance of the national team.
The PHF working committee also dissolved the national selection committee and transferred its powers to the coach and manager of the national team.
"The working committee has appointed former Olympian and chief selector, Hanif Khan as coach of the national team while Akhtar Rasool will continue as manager and head coach," PHF secretary, Asif Bajwa said.
He said the decision to give coach and manager the power to select players was made so that they were responsible for the performance of the team.
"Having a separate selection committee made no practical sense so we have decided to change the system and hope for better results," he said.
Pakistan finished seventh in the London Olympics leading to a lot of criticism on the PHF and the team management.
But PHF President, Qasim Zia and Bajwa have survived the barrage as they are said to be supported by the ruling party and government in the centre.
Bajwa said the decision to drop the seniors from the probables was taken by the team management after proper deliberations as the idea was to now look ahead to the future and prepare players for each specialised position.
Champions Trophy probables:
Salman Hussain, Waqas Liaqat Butt, Imran Junior, Ahmed Zubair, Usman Rafiq, Ali Hassan, Talal Khalid, Kashif Ali, Sibtain Naqvi, Abdul Haseem Khan, Mohammad Rizwan Junior, Ali Shan, Mohammad Ateeq, Mohammad Nawaz, Waseem Ahmed, Mohammad Tauseeq, Fareed Ahmed, Mohammad Waqas, Shafqat Rasool, Umar Bhutta, Imran Shah, Imran Butt, Irfan Senior, Kashif Shah, Mohammad Imran senior and Mohammad Rizwan senior.