A total of 11 international players from top hockey-playing countries are set to face a young Pakistan team in the series that has been named as the World XI and Hall of Fame tour to Pakistan.
For the Pakistan players and the fans, the two-match series offers a double bonanza. Besides getting to see their sporting heroes in action, the series could also pave the way for future events.
For Pakistan, a young team that is preparing to visit Argentina next month for a five-match series will take field against the stalwarts. The Pakistan selectors and authorities have taken the decision keeping in mind the team’s future engagements and providing more exposure for the young lot.
The matches will be preceded by a hall of fame induction ceremony where national and international hockey players will be named in the honorary list
Who to Watch
Australia’s Grant Schubert, Phil Burrows and Kyle Pontifex from New Zealand, Spain’s Santi Freixa and Germany’s Benni West are among the top names for the World XI side.
With Manzoor as the captain and Rizwan Ali the vice-captain, the Pakistan side team comprises of goalkeepers Waqar Younas and Adil Rao, Rizwan Ali, Rehan Butt, Moin Shakeel, Adeel Latif, Shahzaib Khan, Ghanzafeer Ali, Afraz Hakeem, Umair Sattar, Naveed Alam, Amjad Ali, Awais Arshad, Rana Waheed, Ahmed Nadeem, M. Ilyas, Waqar Ali, Zakirullah, and Ibrahim.
There are also six standby players which include Akmal Hussain (goalkeeper), Ali Raza, Hammad Anjum, Murtaza Yaqoob, Zahan Butt, and Umer Bilal.
While almost all listed players are juniors, Rehan Butt has also been added to the team.Previously, the World XI team was to be led by Sohail Abbas, but his participation in the match is now uncertain.
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Matches will be held in Karachi and Lahore on January 19 and 21, respectively and will be preceded by live band concerts. The match will be telecasted live on PTV Sports.
January 19: Abdul Sattar Edhi Hockey Stadium, Karachi at 8:30 pm
January 21: National Hockey Stadium, Lahore at 2:30 pm