Sports desk: Head coach Mahbub Harun and captain Russel Mahmud Jimy and all the players of the Bangladesh national hockey team are going to Oman with the expectation to be champions in the Asian Games Qualifying round.
Bangladesh team comprised with 18 players and five officials scheduled to leave today 9:30am for Oman to compete in the Asian Games qualifying phase to be held from March 7. Bangladesh will begin their campaign on March 9 when nine teams will vie for five spots to qualify in the Asian Games.
Bangladesh, who were drawn in the Group A along with Hong Kong, Thailand, Afghanistan, Indonesia, will have to play three matches, as the Indonesia, the hosts of the Asian Games withdrew their names from the qualifying phase.
However, Bangladesh, who are the higher ranking among all the competitors, is one of the favourites to clinch the top spot in the qualification phase and predicted to contest for the championship with hosts Oman.
But in a press meet yesterday at the Falcon Hall ahead their departure for Oman, both the coach and captain and other players also looked confident to reach their goal, as Harun said, “We are going to qualify in the Asian Games and obviously as the champions in the qualifying round.”
Russel Mahmud Jimy just echoed with his coach and also said if they can be champions, he would dedicate it for his late father Abdur Razzak Sona Meah (passes away last month), who is one of the all time hockey star of Bangladesh.
Jimy said, “We are going there with the target to be champions and if we can, I will dedicate the victory to my father, hopefully we will be champions.”
About the inclusion of three players, Jimy said, “Who were included in the squad, they made their room by dint of their capability, they are very good performers I believe they will justify their inclusion.”
Abdus Sadeque, general secretary of the Bangladesh Hockey Federation said, “We needed to play some preparation matches but could not. We have the ability to be the champions in this round but should not be overconfident.”
The Chief of Air Staff and Bangladesh Hockey Federation president. Air Marshal Abu Esrar, BBP, ndc, acsc, and team sponsor First Security Islami Bank Managing Director Syed Waseque Md Ali and Managing Director of Biman Bangladesh Airlines were also present in the function at BAF Falcon in the capital yesterday.