ISLAMABAD: The first batch of Pakistan’s Birmingham-bound contingent, comprising 22 athletes and eight officials will depart for UK tomorrow (Sunday), Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) said on Saturday.
“The second batch will leave on Monday, the third on July 26, fourth on July 27 and the last one on July 28,” a PSB spokesperson said. According to an official statement issued here on Saturday, the Commonwealth Games 2022 are taking place from July 28 to August 8 in Birmingham. Pakistan athletes will compete in swimming, athletics, para athletics, badminton, boxing, women’s T20 cricket, gymnastics, men’s hockey, judo, squash, table tennis, weightlifting and wrestling.
“The squads of Pakistan hockey, boxing and table tennis will be flying on Sunday to feature in the event,” the spokesperson said. The boxing squad includes pugilists – Ilyas Hussain 54-57kg, Suleman Baloch 60-63.5kg, Nazeer Ullah Khan 86-92kg and Arshad Hussain (coach). The two-member table tennis squad includes Fahad Khawaja (athlete) and Irfan Ullah Khan (coach), The 21-member national men’s hockey squad includes18 players and three officials.
The opening match of the men’s hockey event will be held on 29 July. Ten teams, divided into two groups, are featuring in the men’s hockey event. The Green Shirts are placed in Pool A alongside Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and Scotland.
They will take on South Africa on 30 July in their inaugural fixture. The top two sides from each group will qualify for the semifinals. Hockey squad: Muhammad Umar Bhutta (captain), Akmal Hussain, Abdullah Ishtiaq Khan, Mubashir Ali, Ammad Shakeel Butt, Hammad Anjum, Muhammad Abdullah, Rizwan Ali, Moeen Shakeel, Abdul Manan, Junaid Manzoor, Ghazanfar Ali, Ejaz Ahmed, Rana Abdul Waheed, Roman Khan, Afraaz Khan, Abdul Hanan Shahid, Ahmad Nadeem, Siegfried Aikman (head coach), Syed Sameer Hussain (coach) and Ajmal Khan Lodhi (coach).
The chef de mission of Pakistan’s contingent for the Commonwealth Games is Pakistan Olympic Association’s (POA) senior vice-president Syed Mohammad Abid Qadir Gillani. The Director General of Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) Col (retd) Asif Zaman will serve as deputy chef de mission during the quadrennial sports extravaganza.
A 20-member national women’s cricket squad, who is currently in Ireland for a tri-series involving the hosts [Ireland] and Australia, will directly proceed from there for Birmingham. Cricket returns to the Commonwealth Games for the first time in 24 years, with the first women’s tournament to be played out at the multi-sport event.
Eight sides will take part across 16 matches at Edgbaston, with a winner crowned and all the medals finalized on August 7. The teams are split across two groups of four, with the top two in each qualifying for the semifinals. Sides finishing first in their group will take on the second-place finisher in the opposite group, with the winners of the semis reaching the final.
The losers of the semi-finals will face off in a third-place playoff for the bronze medal, with the final determining the gold and silver medalists. Group A: Australia, Barbados, India, Pakistan Group B: England, New Zealand, South Africa, Sri Lanka.