No plan to arrange practice match with foreign team: Yousuf
The Bangladesh Hockey Federation (BHF) has no plan to arrange practice match for senior hockey team at the moment with the foreign hockey team due to Covid-19 restrictions and financial problem.
"We've no plan to arrange practice matches for hockey team bringing team from China at this moment because Covid-19 situation. Actually no team will agree to come here to play any match. On the other hand, financial problem is also a big matter for us because the federation is no longer in a position to bear the cost of bringing a team from outside at the moment," said BHF acting general secretary Mohammad Yousuf to BSS on Friday.
Yousuf said: "One thing that we can do for our hockey team to arrange practice matches locally with the services team so that our team can take well preparation for the tournament."
The BHF acting general secretary, however, said if they able to get any sponsor for the hockey team then they can arrange practice matches to bring a foreign team nearby.
Earlier, the hockey team's head coach Mahbub Harun informed the BHF regarding to arrange practice matches with China as a part of preparation of the senior hockey team ahead of the big tournament.
Bangladesh is waiting for its debut in the Asian Champions Trophy. The red and greens got the opportunity to participate in this major event as a host country.
International event is going to return after a long time amidst the COVID-19 situation. So Jimmy-Ashraful and co. are taking strong preparations under the supervision of head coach Mahbub Harun.
On the blue turf of Maulana Bhasani National Hockey Stadium, the national hockey team is spending rigorous morning and afternoon training sessions under Coach Mahbub Harun, who is emphasizing on the technical and psychological aspects as well as physical fitness.
The sixth edition of the Asian Champions Trophy will be held from March 11 to 19 in Dhaka. The coach will select the 18 members of final squad out of 32 players at the camp in the mid February.
Bangladesh was supposed to play a warm-up match with China before the event. But, due to COVID-19 restriction and financial problems, the federation has no plans for the preparation matches.
Bangladesh senior team appeared their last international match in Asian Games Hockey in Indonesia in 2018. The Bangladesh Hockey team finished sixth position after losing to South Korea by 7-0 drubbing in the fifth place-deciding encounter.
First held in 2011, it will be the sixth edition of the continental tournament with India who has won it three times- in 2011, 2016 and 2018. They were awarded the title jointly with Pakistan.
Bangladesh will host the sixth edition of Men's Asian Champions Trophy, the elite hockey competition of the continent featuring India, Pakistan, South Korea, Japan, Malaysia and host Bangladesh with the top four in the round-robin progressing to the semi-finals.
Bangladesh will start their tournament campaign taking on Malaysia in their opening match on March 11. The host will then face India, Japan, South Korea and Pakistan on March 12, 13, 15 and 16 respectively. -BSS