Sohail Abbas came from a sporting family; his father, Syed Iftikhar Hussain, was a former first-class cricketer. He represented Karachi as well as Pak Crescent Club, famous for producing Zaheer Abbas. Sohail is eldest of three brothers. Raheel Abbas his younger one is an IT professional and a Professional / First Class Cricketer also involve in Media Doings as well. Sohail has often said that his inspiration came from his uncle, Safdar Abbas,a left-winger who scored against Argentina during the 1973 World Cup as 16-year-old boy. Sohail is keen to emphasize the part played by Safdar, who, Sohail says, inspired him as a youngster.
When Sohail Abbas made his international debut during the 7th Pak-India series 1998, his role was only to come from the bench for penalty corner drills. His debut was at Peshawar's Lala S.M. Ayub Hockey Stadium on Saturday, 28 February 1998. Pakistan manager Islahuddin Siddiqui affected a substitution midway through the tie, but failed to make an impact. He failed to score in three penalty corners as Pakistan won 4-1. The following day, on 1 March 1998, in the second test at Rawalpindi's Army Hockey Stadium, Abbas announced his arrival on the international scene in dramatic fashion, scoring a drag flick from a penalty corner which proved to be the match-winner in Pakistan's 2-1 victory.
When the rule was changed after the 1998 World Cup, he was not considered for the 16th Commonwealth Games by coach Shahnaz Sheikh. But he staged a comeback to win silver in Lahore's 20th CT and bronze in Bangkok's 13th Asian Games in the same year. After serving Pakistan for almost 14 years, Abbas was awarded with the captaincy of the national hockey side for the Azlan Shah Cup and London Olympics 2012.
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