More than after a decade one of the biggest extravaganza of Pakistan’s national game of hockey organized in the presence of some old and present hockey stars including the former and present foreign players when the PTCL Hockey Cup trophy unveiled by the captains of World Hockey XI and Pakistan Junior hockey team at Hockey Stadium on Thursday.
The participants of the ceremony addressing the press conference expressed their jubilation and hope that the two exhibition matches will prove beneficiary in the interest of Pakistan hockey and bring back the international hockey here once again and boost Pakistan’s performance in the world hockey.
The PHF president Brig (rtd) Khalid Khokar termed the occasion a historic event as far as revival of international hockey is concerned in the country.
He said that the PHF was working for this big event, more than one year ago when FIH former high officials visited in the country. And now the dream has come true.
He said that FIH itself felt that Pakistan is the necessity of world hockey, and without Pakistan’s hockey some thing missing to the world hockey. Today we have a great achievement in this beautiful game former and present renowned players of f world of hockey across the world are present in Pakistan and a good and positive message gave to other hockey playing countries.
He thanked FIH provide all possible help to Pakistan in the revival of international hockey in the country.
Khalid Khokar welcomed all the former legends and hall of fame players and members of the World XI hockey team.
The PHF president said that it is just beginning and door opens for the revival of international hockey events in the country. He added that no doubt that Pakistan has great, great hockey legends who won Olympics, World Cups and several other medals but it was not possible that at a single occasion we accommodate all others.
Khokar, assured that hall of fame awards would be continued and another occasion, the other heroes inclduing the 1950s, nd
Holland’s legend player and one of the most gifted penalty corner specialist Paul Litjens said that coming Pakistan is a great occasion for me I felt safe here and jubilated.
Litjens recalled his memory that last time he visited Pakistan in 1992, playing for Pakistan’s former captain Islahuddin’s benefit match.
He hoped that World XI tour to Pakistan and presence of other legends of the game in the country would help to restore the international hockey and invite other hockey playing countries in Pakistan.
Holland’s Rob Lathouwers, the manager of World XI, said that it was the idea of PHF secretary Shahbaz Ahmed that a World XI hockey team should visit Pakistan to revive the hockey in the country. He said that Pakistan is my second home and revival of game of hockey in the country with highest level is the aim of all this activity here. He further said that seven countries players are included in the World XI hockey team and all are considered hockey’s strong and strengthen teams including Argentine, Germany, Holland, Spain, Australia and New Zealand.
PTCL chief commercial officer Adnan Shahid, also addressed said that his institution will continue support and help to PHF, for the restoration of national game of hockey in the country.
He added that PTCL felt proud playing its due role in the revival and inviting international hockey players and hall of fame hockey greats. He vowed to continue the support of PHF, as far as hockey’s development and progress is concerned.
Holland’s legend and former penalty corner specialist Floris Jan Bovelander also spoke on that occasion and hoped that the presence of hockey legends and visit of World X1 hockey team would revive the international hockey and also help Pakistan to boost its performance in the hockey world and played well once again.
Bovelander also recalled his memories when he played against Pakistan and visited the country. He appriaciated the move of PHF secretary Shahbaz Ahmed which help Pakistan to revive the visits of foreign players in the country.
Later, the captain of both teams unveiled the trophy of PTCL hockey Cup.
Meanwhile, PHF clarified that Sohail Abbas will not be part of World Hockey XI, and he will not participate in any of the two matches.
The manager of World XI, said that despite repeated attempts Sohail Abbas could not be available to make sure playing the matches or not.