JOHOR BARU: Olympian Muhammad Umar Bhutta will lead the Pakistan junior team for the third edition of the Sultan of Johor Invitational hockey tournament, which begins Sunday.
Forward Umar, who featured in the 2012 London Olympics, is a skilful player who is deadly inside the D.
He featured in the Asia Cup in Ipoh last month where he scored two goals in five matches.
Umar also featured in the Premier Division of the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) this year for KL Hockey Club and helped the club bag the double - league and overall titles.
Besides Umar, the other Pakistan national players named for the tournament in Johor Baru are Muhammad Rizwan Junior, Muhammad Tousiq, Ali Shan, Muhammad Dilber, Syed Kashif Shah and Khalid Bhatti.
Tousiq is known to be a good penalty corner drag flicker.
The Sultan of Johor Cup will be the second last assignment for the Pakistan juniors before they feature in the Junior World Cup in New Delhi in December.
Team manager Manzoorul Hassan said India had also included four senior players in their squad for the junior competition and similarly, South Korea had also selected a blend of youth and experience for the tournament.
“The tournament is an ideal chance for us to examine the real strength of our players before going to India for the World Cup,” said Manzoorul.
“In Malaysia, our team will also face England and Argentina for the first time which will give them a chance to test their skills against these non-Asian teams,” added Manzoorul.
Pakistan squad: Mazhar Abbas, Amin Yousuf, Mohammad Khalid, Muhammad Umar Bhutta (captain), Syed Kashif Shah (vice-captain), Mohammad Faisal Qadir, Mohammad Rizwan Jr, Mohammad Tousiq, Mohammad Kashif Javed, Ammad Shakeel Butt, Zohaib Ashraf, Muhammad Umair, Mohammad Dilber, Ali Shan, Mohammad Suleman, Arslan Qadir, Ahmed Zubair, Ayub Ali.