LAHORE - Pakistan Boxing Federation (PBF) has announced its nine-member squad to take part in the 17th Asian Games being held from September 19 in Incheon, South Korea.

"The squad comprises six boxers and three officials,” said PBF secretary Iqbal Hussain here on Monday. He said one change had been made in the team which participated in the Glasgow Commonwealth Games and won a silver medal through M Wasim. Sanaullah is the new edition as the PBF dropped M Asif.

Wasim (52kgs) will lead the side whose other members are Mohibullah (49kgs), Nadir Baloch (56kgs), Ali Ahmad (60kgs), Amir Khan (64kgs) and Sana ullah (91kgs). The team officials are Allah Bukhsh and M Tariq. Iqbal Hussain will be accompanying the team as manager.

He said Sana ullah would be competing in a heavyweight category and had been preferred over Asif who featured in Commonwealth Games (69kgs) bout and failed to impress. "In Asian Games, we have better medal prospects in heavyweight categories and that is why we have included Sana.”

He expressed the hope that Pakistan team would be able to win medals in the Asian Games as the team members were in good preparations after their participation in the Commonwealth Games. "It was very a beneficial experience for our boxers to participate in the Commonwealth Games and we have planned comprehensive training programme for them prior to their participation in the Asian Games. Apart from having a routine training camp at home, we will be engaging the team members in a month-long camp hopefully abroad.” Iqbal disclosed that the PBF turned down the offer of Pakistani business community based in Glasgow for providing a financial assistance of Rs 9,000,000 for the training of the Pakistani boxers. "We have refused to accept this offer most importantly in the respect of our country as we are capable of generating funds for the preparations and participation of the team in international tournaments abroad,” he added.

He said leading Pakistani businessman Chaudhary M Ramzan, brother of Punjab Governor Chaudhary M Sarwar and Counsel General of Pakistan in Glasgow Syed Ahsan Raza, Deputy Counsel General Syed Saqlain Raza, Chudhary Azam and a large number of Pakistani expatriates turned up to watch the bouts of the Pakistani boxers during the Games and encouraged them.  He said the Pakistan community was aware of the fact that Pakistani boxers were facing difficulties in getting much-needed training to improve the level of their game and they expressed their desire to extend financial assistance to the PBF which did not accept it.

"I told them to pray for our boxers as it will be the biggest gift for them. Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) has assured us it’s all-out support as far as the preparation of the team is concerned for the Asian Games.”