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Pakistan hockey team played well in two practice matches in Netherlands as they thrashed local club Leiden and lost against Netherlands national team by a margin of only one goal.

A team official said that Pakistan crushed the local team by a huge margin of 7-0. Forward Arsalan Qadir showed good skill and netted two goals. The other scorers were Irfan Jr, Rizwan Sr, Dilbar, Umer and Tauseeq.

Pakistan also played well against hosts Netherlands, a much more experienced and higher ranked side. Pakistan did not seem under pressure against the strong Dutch team, foiling many of the opponents’ attacks. Pakistan’s lone goal scorer was Aleem Bilal.

Pakistan will play a practice match against Austria on Thursday (tomorrow). Meanwhile, Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) secretary Shahbaz Ahmed has written a letter to the state-owned television channel to arrange live telecast of the match between Pakistan and archrivals India in the Champions Trophy on June 23.

The other participating teams are hosts Netherlands, Belgium, Argentina and Australia. Informed sources said that the opening match Pakistan and India would be a thrilling encounter. Thus, PHF would make efforts to have it telecast live.

It may be noted that it is the last edition of Champions Trophy, which was introduced by PHF decades ago. It is also pertinent to note that Pakistan team has reached Netherlands and organised a two-week training camp to acclimatise with the conditions. They are also playing practice matches. The Green-shirts will play against Australia on June 24, Netherland June 26, Argentina June 28, and Belgium June 29. The final will be played on July 1.

Syed Intikhab Ali -The News