Shahbaz sees Pakistan team in Asia Cup final

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) Secretary Shahbaz Ahmad Senior believed that Pakistan team would reach final of the Asia Cup scheduled to take place in Dhaka, Bangladesh next month.

Talking to reporter, Shahbaz said Asia Cup would give players exposure and confidence for the next year’s World Cup to be held in India.

“Next year the national team will also be sent on tours to Australia and Europe to prepare for the World Cup,” he said and added besides Pakistan teams of Bangladesh, India, China, South Korea, Japan, Oman and Malaysia would be participating in the event.

He said during recent meetings with International Hockey Federation (FIH) President Narinder Batra in Dubai, we have also made it clear that Pakistan team should be given foolproof security and easy visas processing for the World Cup. “We will also apply for visas before time and will see that all formalities are fulfilled timely,” he said.

Speaking about the Pakistan Hockey League (PHL), he said PHL would be held next year with six franchise-based teams to participate in the inaugural edition.

“PHL will be played from April 24, 2018 in four cities including Karachi, Lahore, Gojra and Faisalabad.

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 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.