Pakistan has lifted the World Cup trophy on a record four occasions as well as twice claiming the silver medal. The Green Shirts were victorious at the 1971, 1978, 1982 and 1994 events, with their four titles being one more than three-time winners Netherlands and Australia.
Four years ago, some Pakistani players had gone overboard with their celebrations after their semifinal win over India in the Champions Trophy, triggering a major controversy. Two Pakistani players were banned by the International Hockey Federation (FIH) for their obscene gestures.
“It was not a pleasant experience, we have learnt from that. We have discussed that incident and it is behind us now. This time we know we need to be totally focused on our game and nothing else. If we can beat India in India great, but our main objective is doing well in the World Cup not about just one match.” said the Pakistani skipper.
The World Cup will begin in Bhubaneswar from November 28 and Rizwan said his team is well prepared to handle the pressures during the prestigious tournament.
“We have trained hard for this mega event and since it is in India we have been having talks and discussions and have mentally prepared ourselves to give our best under any pressure situation in India,” Rizwan said.
He said his players can deal with the crowd pressures.
“Obviously we know the Indian crowds will generally not be supporting us in matches. In the end it is all about hockey and both teams will want to win and that should produce a good contest. We hope the people who come to watch the World Cup in the end will just appreciate the team that plays well on a particular day.” he said.
Rizwan, an experienced professional, said the players had no worries about the security as that was something he knew the organizers and the team management would manage well.
Pakistan sit in Group D with Germany, Malaysia and the Netherlands.
Pakistan men’s team for the Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018:
Imran Butt, Mazhar Abbas,Mohd. Irfan (Sr), Aleem Bilal, Mubashar Ali, Tauseeq Arshad, Tasawwar Abbas, Rashid Mahmood, Ajaz Ahmed, Ammad Shakeel Butt, Mohd. Irfan (Jr.), Mohd. Rizwan (Sr.), Ali Shan, Faisal Qadir, Abubakr Mahmood, Umar Bhutta, Atiq Arshad, Mohammad Zubair