Pakistan Team arrives in Bhubaneswar today for the Hero Men’s Champions Trophy 2014
Bhubaneswar, 2 December 2014: Post putting up a good show at the just culminated Asian Games, the Imran Muhammad led Pakistan team arrived in Bhubaneswar today for the upcoming Hero Hockey Champions Trophy 2014. Placed in Pool A along with defending Champions Australia, the dark horse Belgium and Bobby Crutchley coached England team; the Pakistan unit will be looking at repeating their Asian Games form and ensuring they move to the next stage in the tournament.
The only Asian team to win the Champions Trophy title, Pakistan last played the Asian Games finale against India where they gave tough competition to India but eventually lost the game in a penalty shoot-out and hence had to settle for the Silver medal. Pakistan will be facing Belgium in their first match in the tournament and will be looking starting the tournament on a winning note.
Speaking post arrival at the Bhubaneswar Airport, Captain Imran Muhammad said, “I have been to India before and it’s a great feeling to be back. While preparing for the Champions Trophy back home, we have been working on our weaknesses that we discovered during the recently concluded 17th Asian Games. Reaching the semi-finals is our main target at the moment. We are also focussed on improving our world ranking.”
Speaking on their chances in the tournament, Manager Shahnaz Sheikh said, “We are happy to be here and have brought with us lots of good wishes and love from Pakistan for the people of India. I believe we should come closer to promote hockey in our respective nations. Having played the 1st edition of the Champions Trophy in the year 1978, it’s a proud feeling to be here with the team for such a prestigious tournament. With a mix of both young and experienced players, we’ll try to play an attacking game and improvise according to the situation. We’ll be happy to secure a podium finish in the championship.”
On the side lines of the team’s arrival, India Captain Sardar Singh said, “I welcome Imran and his entire team to India. I will take this opportunity to wish them all the best and I hope we have a clash against them in the next stage of the tournament. The team is strong and that they have the capability to beat the teams in their Pool and advance to the next phase of the tournament.”
Pakistan will be taking on Belgium on 6th December 2014 at 2.00 pm India time and the inaugural match of the Hero Men’s Champions Trophy will be played on 6th of December 2014, between Australia and England at 12.00 noon.