Chandigarh, Dec 27 (UNI) The Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) will be sending an 18-member team to participate in the Junior Invitation Hockey Tournament to be held in Kuala Lumpur from January 17 to 27.
India, Pakistan, Australia, Germany, Holland, Korea and host Malaysia have staked their claim for the top honours. It will be an important tournament before the Junior Asia Cup to be organised in New Delhi in October next year.
Talking to UNI, IHF general secretary K Jyothi Kumaran said, ''The selectors are watching the junior players who are participating in the ongoing fourth Premier Hockey League in Chandigarh.'' Date for the selection trials will be decided within two days, he added.
''We have also bench strength of junior players who are attending national coaching camp. The best talent will be selected in the Indian team for the Invitation Junior Hockey Tournament in Malayasia,'' said Jyothi Kumaran.
He said that forty players were attending the national coaching camp in Shahbad Markanda (Kurukshetra). The camp has been shifted to Chandigarh where 30 players have reported yesterday.
Meanwhile, asked how many Indian players would be released for the proposed Pakistan Hockey League, the IHF secretary general said ''The Pakistan Hockey Federation has yet to inform us about the exact date and venue. On receiving information, the IHF will decide the number of Indian players for the Pakistan League. Releasing of players is a clear understanding between the two hockey federations.'' The Pakistan Hockey Federation has released their eight players who are taking part in the ongoing Premier Hockey League. They are Shakeel Abassi, Ghazanfar Ali, Zeeshan Ashraf, Kamran Ahmed, Adanan Maqshood, Rehan Butt, Salman Akbar and Dilawar Hussain.