Updated: Thursday, 14 August 2014 18:35 | By Agence France-Presse

Pakistan target Asian Games hockey title defence

Pakistan announced Thursday the squad they hope will defend their Asian Games hockey title at the tournament starting next month.


Pakistan target Asian Games hockey title defence

Pakistan's Imran Farhat (L) congratulates teammate Mohammad Hafeez on his half century against South Africa at The Oval cricket ground in London on June 3, 2013 - by Carl Court

The 18-man squad led by full-back Mohammad Imran is seeking a second successive title after winning gold in Guangzhou four years ago.

Chief selector Islahuddin Siddiqui said nothing less than gold was the team's target.

"This is a balanced squad and we have faith that this team will successfully defend their title," said Siddiqui.

The Asian Games will be held in Incheon, South Korea, from September 19 to October 4.

Pakistan have won eight Asian Games hockey titles since the event's inception in 1956.

But overall Pakistan has seen a serious slump in field hockey at the international events, falling to 12th and last in the World Cup held in India in 2010. 

They also failed to qualify for the World Cup held in the Netherlands in June this year and were seventh in the last Olympic Games in London two years ago.

Head coach Shahnaz Shaikh said he is doing his best to bring back the glory the country had achieved in the past.

"We love our hockey and that's why we are (making) extra effort to bring back the glory days and Asian Games will be the beginning of that campaign," said Shaikh.

Squad: Amjad Butt, Imran Butt, Mohammad Imran (captain), Mohammad Irfan, Amir Shahzad, Hamad Shakeel Butt, Mohammad Touseeq, Farid Ahmed, Rashid Mahmood, Rizwan Junior, Kashif Shah, Mohammad Waqas, Umar Bhutta, Shahfqat Rasool, Abdul Haseem Khan, Mohammad Dilbar, Shakeel Abbasi and Rizwan Ahmed.

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