"It has been a dream to lead my country in the Olympics and now it has come true," Abbas said, adding that the real challenge would start hereafter. Abbas, with his goal tally of 345 goals (as of Jun 13, 2012), has played an instrumental role in establishing Pakistan as a formidable force in international hockey, particularly when the game was declining in that country.
Pakistan is one of the Asian powerhouses at the Olympics and have won three golds, three silver and two bronzes till date. However, the last time Pakistan had won an Olympic gold was in 1984 and Abbas hoped they could bring back the gold if they played as a team. "Hockey today is all about speed, precision and fitness and if we utilise our skills, we can beat any team," the Pak skipper said.
Abbas had missed the Beijing Games after scoring 19 goals in the 2000 and 2004 Games. He said he was looking to find the old touch.
Abbas who missed the last Games in Beijing after scoring 11 goals in the 2000 Sydney Olympics and eight in Athens four years later is hoping to rediscover the same form in London.
"The number of goals I have scored is important but it is an Olympic gold which is what I want," added.
Senior forwards Rehan Butt and Shakeel Abbasi and midfielder Waseem Ahmed have been recalled to the national side and the Pakistan selectors believe the experienced players will help the team deliver.