The Bangladesh Hockey Federation on Friday announced an 18-member squad, led by striker Russell Mahmud Jimmy, for the forthcoming Asian Games qualifiers, scheduled to start from March 8 in Oman.
Most of the players from the squad that finished sixth in Asia Cup at home have been retained except three seniors - Imran Hasan Pintu, Pushkor Khisa Mimo and Kamruzzaman Rana.
Coach Mahbub Harun said the trio has been rested for the competition as he preferred to try some new players in a competition that should be easy for Bangladesh.
Bangladesh are ranked top in the qualifying event, which will see five teams joining the continental giants in the Asian Games in Jakarta-Palembang 2018 from August 18 to September 2.
‘We didn’t drop the three senior players. We just gave them some rest. We will see how the new players perform. There is an opportunity for an experiment in this tournament,’ said Harun.
‘Top five teams will qualify for the Asian Games. I don’t see why Bangladesh cannot make it. So there is an opportunity to see the performances of the youngsters,’ he added.
Deen Islam Emon, Sohanur Rahman Sobuj and Fazle Hossain Rabbi made it to the 18-member Bangladesh squad for the qualifying tournament in place of the trio.
Bangladesh were placed in Group A along with Hong Kong, Thailand, Indonesia and Afghanistan while hosts Oman were in Group B along with Sri Lanka, Chinese Taipei and Kazakhstan.
Bangladesh will start their qualifying mission on March 9 with a match against Afghanistan.
Russell Mahmud Jimmy (Capt), Ashim Gope, Abu Sayeed Nippon, Ashraful Islam, Khorshedur Rahman, Farhad Ahmed Shitul, Rezaul Karim Babu, Mamunur Rahman Chayan, Rumman Sarkar, Naeem Uddin, Hasan Jubair Niloy, Sarwar Hossain, Milon Hossain, Mainul Islam Kaushik, Arshad Hossain, Deen Islam Emon, Sohanur Rahman Sobuj and Fazle Hossain Rabbi.
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