LAHORE: Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) has announced a World XI hockey team tour to Pakistan, comprising stars from hockey’s top nations. The two-match series will be taken place in Karachi and Lahore on January 19 and 21 respectively.
Globally recognised players from Germany, Australia, Netherlands, Spain, Argentina, China, New Zealand and Belgium will be touring Pakistan on a four-day visit in a bid to revive international hockey in Pakistan.
Hockey, Pakistan’s national sport, has seen a slump in recent years compared to the glory days when Hockey was the main sport of Pakistan and produced some of the most coveted names.
Hockey World XI tour aims to revive the sport in the country with league matches to follow up later.
PHF President Khalid Sajjad Khokhar said that “The foreign team, which is a blend of world’s renowned hockey players, will be arriving in Karachi and will play its first match at Abdul Sattar Edhi Stadium on January 19. Karachi’s match will be played under lights and the match at Lahore will be a day affair.”
The foreign team includes Kylie, David Alegre, Juan Escarre, Santi Freixa of Spain, Agustin Burgallo, Diego Paz, Roc Oliva of Argentina, Hidde Turkstra, Philip Muelenbroek, Roderick Weusthof, Rob Reckers, Matthijs Brouwer, Rob Lathouwers, Floris Bovelander of Netherlands, Benjamin Wess, Christian Blunck, Justus Scharowsky of Germany, Phil Burrows, Kyle Pontifex of New Zealand, and Grant Shubert.
A special function will also be held in Karachi to honor foreign and home players with their induction in the ‘Hall of Fame’.
Talking about the event Khokhar said, “The prime objective of induction of players in the ‘Hall of Fame’ is to develop a new culture in Pakistan hockey and to give recognition to those foreign and home players, who excelled in the game at the highest level.”
“It will be a big step forward to motivate the youth to take up hockey as a sport and to revive the game in Pakistan,” he added.
“PHF is hopeful that with friendly matches like these and the arrival of hockey players from all around the world, it will help bring back international hockey to Pakistan, and most importantly will instill confidence and hope in our national hockey players which right now is the need of the hour,” he concluded.