PHF to host Professional Hockey League in April next year

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) is all geared-up to host the inaugural edition of country’s Professional League (PHL) in April next year.

Talking to reporter, PHF Shahbaz Ahmad Senior said the franchise-based league will be played from April 24, 2018. “The matches of the league will be held in four cities including Karachi, Lahore, Gojra and Faisalabad,” he said.

He said six franchises would play in the first edition of the league. “Each franchise would have three to four players in the team,” he said. Shahbaz said players from Australia, Argentina and other foreign countries would be participating in the league.

“Besides providing financial support to us (PHF), the league will prove a landmark in regaining lost glory of the national game. We are sure it will help rebuild our supremacy in the game internationally,” he said.

Speaking about the team’s chances in the Hockey Asia Cup to take place in Dhaka, Bangladesh from October 11, Shahbaz said he expects Pakistan team to reach the final of the mega event. “Asia Cup would give players exposure and confidence,” he said.

He said next year the national team would also be sent on tours to Australia and Europe to prepare for next year’s World Cup to be staged in India.

“During recent meetings with International Hockey Federation (FIH) President Narinder Batra in Dubai, we made it clear that Pakistan team should be given fool-proof security and easy visas processing for the World Cup in India,” he said.

He said we will also apply for visas before time and would see that all formalities are fulfilled timely.