As many as 48 hockey players reported to the national team's Pakistani head coach Naveed Alam at the Maulana Bhasani Hockey Stadium yesterday for the preparation camp for qualifying round of the Asian Games which will be held in Bangladesh in March, 2014.
The Bangladesh Hockey Federation (BHF) asked 41 players selected through the December 6 open trial and 19 players from the squad which took part in the last Asia Cup to join the ten-day training camp in a bid to search for probable players for the Asian Games qualifiers.
“All 41 selected players and seven current national players have reported to the coach today,” said BHF member Rafiqul Islam Kamal yesterday adding that the rest of the players including four Navy players, who are currently in India, are expected to join the camp by Friday.
Kamal informed that their intention to conduct this training camp with 66 players was to form three squads – national team, A team and national U-21 team – for the Asia Games Qualifiers, World Hockey League (round-1) and AHF U-21 Championship, all of which will be held in Bangladesh in 2014.
“The players will practise two sessions a day for ten days this time and afterwards we will reduce the number but it has not been decided as to how many players we will select for the second phase of the preparation camp,” said Kamal, a member of the five-member selection committee.
Though no one admitted, it is firmly believed that the game's governing body is actually trying to find out the right replacements for four suspended players -- Rasel Mahmud Jimmy, Zahid Hossain, Kamruzzaman Rana and Imran Hasan Pinto -- ahead of the Asian Games Qualifiers where five teams from seven will qualify for the 2014 Asian Games to be held in Inchon, Korea next year.