Islamabad - The Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) has dropped former captain Sohail Abbas and senior forward Rehan Butt from the 27-probables for the Champions Trophy to be held at Melbourne from Dec 1.
The exclusion of the two top players on Thursday was surprising, reports Xinhua.
Abbas, the world’s highest goalscorer, led the national team to a seventh-place finish in the 2012 London Olympics.
The PHF, however, included other senior players Waseem Ahmed, Imran Senior and Shakeel Abbasi for the training camp that starts Oct 31.
The decision to drop the two senior players came a day after the national selection committee was sacked and Olympian Hanif Khan was appointed the new coach.
Akhtar Rasool, who was the team’s manager at the London Games, was retained till the 2014 World Cup.
However, coach Khawaja Junaid and his assistant Shahid Ali Khan, who were in charge in London, were axed from the team management.
“We have to take these steps while keeping the next World Cup as our main target,” Asif Bajwa, PHF secretary, told media.
The final team will be announced Nov 19. Pakistan will also participate in the nine-a-side International Super Series in Perth before the Champions Trophy.
Mohammad 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.