Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) is all set to hold the country’s first-ever Pakistan Hockey League (PHL) in November-December and the good news is that it will be held in Pakistan.
PHF has been planning this league since the new management, President Brigadier (retd) Khalid Sajjag Khokhar and secretary Shahbaz Ahmed Senior, took charge. But they were facing financial constraints and also had security concerns in relation to inviting foreign players.
As fans of cricket saw two successful editions of Pakistan Super League (PSL), hockey as a national game decided to hold a league in Pakistan which will help them in their struggle to revive and bring back the lost glory of the national game.
Initially, the PHF management decided to hold the league in December 2016 but then had postponed the dates to March 2017. However, now following security clearance by the Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa PHF has decided to hold the league by the end of November. President Khokhar has received full support of Gen Bajwa who has assured him that the army will take care of the security of foreign players.
The PHF management was waiting for this news and had made all arrangements. They had spoken to sponsors and hired the same company that has been organising PSL since the past two years, to organise the hockey league as well.
In connection to this, PHF is also organising a World XI matches in Rawalpindi and Karachi where former hockey stars will be coming to Pakistan in September.
PHL will not only revive the lost interest of hockey in the country but will also help improve the standard of hockey. It will also give former Olympians a chance to play and earn in their own country like they have been doing abroad.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 31st, 2017.