Courtesy: THE NEWS
The proposed Pakistan Hockey League (PHL) is unlikely to be held in April and May due to hectic schedule of Pakistan senior hockey team, The News has learnt.
Renowned players of other countries would also be busy for their countries in some important events, including Commonwealth Games, Champions Trophy, Asian Champions Trophy, Asian Games and the World Cup.
Besides, lack of finances doesn’t allow the PHF to prepare the national team for these tournaments and organise PHL at the same time. PHF high-ups refused to confirm that the league had been delayed but they also did not confirm that it would be held in April and May.
This scribe learnt from different sources in the PHF that the high-ups had made up their minds that the professional league was not possible in coming months. The Green-shirts will participate in the Commonwealth Games in April in Australia and then they will participate in the Champions Trophy where Pakistan has been invited as a special team despite its low 13th ranking.
The 2018 Champions Trophy will be the 37h and last edition of the Champions Trophy. It will be held in June in Holland. The Green-shirts and all leading hockey teams will be engaged in the event.
The Pakistan hockey team will also participate in Asian Champions Trophy in October in Oman in which six leading Asian countries will participate.
Oman will play host to five top nations of Asia: India, Malaysia, Pakistan, South Korea, and Japan. Oman qualify as the hosts.
The Asian Games are scheduled to be held from August 18 to September 2 in Indonesia. These are all important events and will provide an opportunity to Pakistan to rise in world hockey as a dominant force.
The Asian Games are also important for Pakistan with respect to direct qualification for the Olympics 2020. The World Cup will be played in India in December.
Syed Intikhab Ali