Mens Asia cup Hockey
We are accustomed to Pakistan hockey style: Chayan
Country's drag and flick specialist Mamunur Rahman Chayan said that Pakistan are not an unfamiliar team to Bangladesh and his team was fully prepared to face the rivals in the first match on Wednesday.
Doing well in the first match will be important for the team as the result of this match will show the team's future in the event. But, it will not be an easy task doing well against the opponents who are currently 20 places ahead of the host in the international ranking.
Beside, the red and greens failed to win any of the six matches they played in different international arena against the rivals so far. The boys met Pakistan for the first time in 1982 where they lost it by 9-0 goals.
As the host of Men's Asia Cup 1985, Bangladesh met the then world hockey champion Pakistan for the second time. That time Bangladesh boys shown remarkable performance and were about to grip the strong Pakistan boys in a goalless draw except they digested a single goal at the eleventh hour of the match.
Afterwards, Bangladesh played four more international matches against the same opponent in the years 1993, 1999, 2003 and 2007 and lost all by 7-2, 6-0, 8-0 and 10-0 margins correspondingly.
While the statistics gives a bad impression, former captain of the team was quite optimist about the team. He said, "We had recently played against Pakistan in other event and we are familiar to their styles. We are all prepared for the match."
The reliable defender said, "We had been preparing us for this event for a long time. It is a challenge for us to do well in the event. You'll see Bangladesh bravely fighting Pakistan."
On the other hand, Pakistan coach Farhat Hasan Khan said, "Pakistan had already qualified for the World Cup yet we are taking this event seriously. We are going to play a new team in the event. Asia Cup is a prestigious event and all the matches are equally important to us."
Having a high opinion about host, this coach said that Bangladesh was playing at their home venue and it was a strong team. So his boys will treat the opponents respectfully.
Pakistan Captain Mohammad Irfan said, "We are here to play a standard hockey. Our squad is made out of four to five players from the Asia Cup Qualifiers. We did good practice today (Tuesday) morning and are ready to face Bangladesh."
The captain said that personally he believed that Bangladesh would not an easy opponent.
He said, "I know some of the players from Bangladesh squad who had played Germany. Their Jimmy is a class player. If we do not take them seriously, they may take a chance to beat us. That's why we want to play well from the very first minute."
In the meantime, both Bangladesh and Pakistan had practice on Tuesday morning ahead of the match.