LAHORE        -     Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) Secretary Muhammad Asif Bajwa has welcomed the decision of inclusion of more Asian teams in the World Hockey Cup, to be played in early 2023 in India. The International Hockey Federation, in its recent executive board meeting, decided to give direct qualification to top three teams of the Asia Cup. “It is a very a encouraging decision for the further development of hockey in Asia as in the past only the winner of the Asia Cup had direct qualification into the World Cup and top three teams directly playing in the World Cup will definitely make the Asia Cup more challenging and competitive with every participating team aiming to win a berth in the Cup,“ he said here on Thursday. Bajwa said the FIH decision had boosted Pakistan’s chances to qualify for the next World Cup as the green shirts enjoy good record in the Asia Cup due to their good performance in the previous editions of the event. “If you look at the our team’s previous record, it supports our claim of now having bright chances to play in the World Cup. But it does not mean that we should be feeling contended with our record and not to aim to win the Asia Cup to emerge as the top ranking team in Asia and to improve our ranking in Asia,” he added. “We have to put in a lot of hard work and our team should be well prepared to take on a tough challenge in the next Asia Cup and we have to draw a road map which could ensure our high level performance in the Asia Cup and also a place for our team in the World Cup,” Bajwa concluded.