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Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) has released Rs30,000 each to the 30 players who were part of the training camp of the senior team, and are now following the training programme at their homes. The 30 players include some junior players as well.

PHF received Rs1.5 million from the federal government a few days ago, the first in three years. The release of the money to the players is aimed at keeping them motivated, PHF sources said.

The government last week released funds to 16 sports federations, including PHF.

Pakistan junior team is to participate in the Junior Asia Cup in 2021 in Bangladesh. Pakistan juniors have largely been inactive in recent years. Pakistan missed the 2016 Junior World Cup in India.

The Junior Asia Cup 2021 serves as the qualifying round for Junior World Cup 2023. Its four semi-finalist teams will be entitled to participate in the Junior World Cup.

PHF president Brig (rtd) Khalid Sajjad Khokhar said that PHF has planned a couple of series for the junior team before the Junior Asia Cup, “so that our boys get some experience of international matches before the Junior Asia Cup. They have not played any international hockey for a long time.

“It is necessary for them that before appearing in a tough event like Junior Asia, they get some experience of standard hockey and get used to sustain the pressure of international matches,” said the PHF chief.

“We are in contact with Malaysia, Japan, South Korea and Bangladesh to organise some test series with them. But no country is in a position to finalise such an agreement because of the COVID-19 situation,” he said.

Syed Intikhab Ali – The News