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Pakistan Army’s Sports Wing has assured PHF president Brig (rtd) Khalid Khokhar of all possible support for promotion of hockey in the country.
Khokhar thanked Pak Army for their support for promotion of sports in general and hockey in particular. He lauded Army’s help in arranging security for visiting players and officials in the past.
“We are highly thankful to Army Sports Directorate for lending support to hockey. We are taking every step to take Pakistan hockey to the heights that it previously occupied. We will not let down the hockey lovers,” Brig Khokhar said.
Meanwhile, the PHF has planned a series of events in all major cities of the country to promote PHSL, which will be the first professional hockey league in the country. At least 12 foreign players, from various European countries and Argentina, will participate in the PHSL, which will have six teams.
The league will be held in Lahore in March. The dates are yet to be finalised. There would be no player from Australia or any Asian country in the league, a source said. The source said players would be coming from Germany, Holland, Spain, Belgium, France and Argentina.
PHF secretary Shahbaz Ahmed has said that he is using his contacts in European countries to convince foreign players to play in Pakistan’s first professional hockey league. He said that he is trying to rope in three foreign players for every team.
The six teams will be named after the important cities of the country: Karachi Kararay, Lahori Ustad, Peshawar Dilawar, Multan Sufiyan, Islamabad Commander, and Quetta Defender.The publicity and marketing of the event will be launched from the first week of February.
PHF is also trying to arrange live telecast of the league, a source said. The details of the bidding process for the players and other matters would be available on the website, the source said.
Each team will have 18-20 players. Thus, more than 100 quality players would be required for the event. Those who played well in domestic hockey would get chance to play in this event, Shahbaz said. The event will help local players financially and improve their skills as they will rub shoulders with stars of other countries.

Syed Intikhab Ali -The News