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The PHF has finalised the preparation for World Hockey XI’s tour and the ceremony of Hall of Fame awards to be held next month.
The PHF is waiting for the response of the countries whose players are to be part of the World XI. The World Hockey team will play three matches in Pakistan in the second week of January.
PHF president Khalid Khokhar, when contacted, confirmed that the interior ministry had issued written NOC for the World XI’s tour to Pakistan and Hall of Fame awards ceremony. PHF sources said that Australia’s Ric Charlesworth, Holland’s Paul Litgens and Floris Jan Bovelander, and Germany’s Christian Blunck, were likely to be among those would receive the awards.
Khokhar said that the FIH had cooperated with the PHF in this regard to help it revive international hockey here.Informed sources said that it has been planned that five foreign and five or more Pakistan hockey legends would get the awards.
The PHF secretary Olympian Shahbaz Ahmed, who is himself considered a great forward of modern day hockey, has convinced current stars to come and play in Pakistan.He said that 15 players, accompanied by two officials, would come to Pakistan to play the three matches.
The PHF secretary said the success of the World XI visit would help in organising Pakistan Hockey League (PHL) in April and May. Sources in the PHF said that it had contacted some famous players for the World XI and expected Jamie Dwyer and Glenn Turner of Australia, Tom Boon of Belgium, and Hertzberger, Teun de Nooijer, and Jaap Stockman of Holland to join it.
“The year 2018 will be crucial for our hockey because a number of important events are going to be held and the Green-shirts will be part of all these events,” said Shahbaz. “The Green-shirts will participate in Sultan Azlan Shah tournament, Asian Champions Trophy, Asian Games which will be a qualifier for Tokyo 2020 Olympics, Commonwealth Games and World Cup,” he said.
“The World XI tour and the PHL will give our players competitive hockey experience which will help them in the big hockey events of the year,” he added. The secretary also said that the PHF had decided to organise a four-nation tournament before the PHL to start international hockey on regular basis in the country and “give our players an opportunity to play maximum international matches before the big events. The names of the participating countries and schedule of the matches will be decided later”.