PHF keen to make the series a memorable event for Pakistan

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The Pakistan Hockey Federation has on Monday achieved yet another target when they were able to hold an international series against the country’s time-tested friend China. The Chinese hockey team on late Monday reached Karachi to play a series of four test matches. Although the series which is not an FIH recognised event, is seen as a first drop of rain in the revival of foreign team’s visit to Pakistan. Addressing a press conference here at the National Hockey Stadium, the PHF president said that China has always stood with Pakistan in the times of need and this time too when international team’s are reluctant to travel over to Pakistan. “The visit of the Chinese hockey team would open up doors for other international teams,” he maintained.
Talking about the Dutch coach Michel van dan Heuvel, the PHF president informed that he has already applied for holidays for Christmas and his assistant coaches Shahid Ali Khan and Mohammad Ajmal will look after the team’s progress during the four-match series to be played in Karachi, Faisalabad and Lahore. He said that entry into the stands will be free and educational institutions will be asked to send over school children to fill up the stadium.
Qasim Zia further said that FIH wanted the return of international hockey in Pakistan and has also asked the hockey playing nations to play here. Also present on the occasion were Asif Bajwa, secretary PHA and NADRA officials who are the main sponsors of the event which is also has around a dozen sub-sponsors. About the new pitch at the National Hockey Stadium, he said that it was up to the Punjab Sports Board to get it installed by January so that the team starts practice for the Olympics.
On the occasion, Qasim Zia also announced tournament directors for the series to be held from December 19 to 26 with matches being played on December 21 and 22 at Karachi, December 24 at Faisalabad and December 25 at Lahore.
For the first match at Karachi’s Hockey Club of Pakistan Stadium, Technical delegate will comprise Rao Muhammad Saleem, Tournament Officer Arif Hayat, Judges Azeem Khan, Raja Anwar Kamal and Syed Hassan Askari. Umpires Manager is Saeed Ahmed.
Umpires are Ghufran Ahmed, Shahid Pervaiz and Akhlaque Bukhari (Reserve). Liaison Officers are Ahmed Alam – Chinese hockey team, Abdul Ghafoor – Pakistan.
The second Test match will be played at the same venue: Technical delegate: Rao Muhammad Saleem. Tournament Officer: Dr S.A Majid. judges: Nadeem Saeed, Zahid Mahmood and Akhtar. Umpires Manager: Mohsin Ali Khan. Umpires: Ghufran Ahmed, Hanif-ud-din, Muhammad Arshad (Reserve).
Third Test match at Faisalabad Hockey Stadium, Technical Delegate: Khalid Bashir. Tournament Officer: Shafqat Malik, Judges: Mian Farooq, Zulfiqar Bhutto & Khalid Mahmood. Umpires Manager: Rana Khalid Iqbal. Umpires: Pervaiz Akhtar, Naveed Iqbal & Muhammad Munir (Reserve). Liaison Officers: Tahir Mahmood – China &. Shehzad Chishti – Pakistan.
The fourth match at National Hockey Stadium, Lahore: Technical delegate: Muhammad Saghir. Tournament Officer: Muhammad Shafique Bhatti. Judges: Sheikh Muhammad Hussain, Tariq Butt & Hassan Akhtar. Umpires Manager: Dilawar Hussain Bhatti. Umpires: Haider Rasool, Rana Muhammad Liaqat & Muhammad Mushtaq (reserve).