Doubts over Pakistan’s participation in the Hockey World Cup have finally been cleared after the owner of a cricket franchise came on board as a sponsor to bail out the cash-strapped national federation (PHF).
Pakistan Hockey Federation secretary Shahbaz Ahmed informed that Pakistan Super League franchise, Peshawar Zalmi owner Javed Afridi has signed a major sponsorship deal with the PHF which will run till 2020.
The sponsorship deal will cover all international tours of senior and junior national teams as well as domestic hockey.
“It is a big relief for us. Javed Afridi, who owns the Peshawar Zalmi franchise has signed the sponsorship deal to uplift Pakistan hockey on behalf of his company, Haier Pakistan,” Shahbaz said, adding the team is going to India.
Shahbaz, however, refused to disclose the sponsorship amount. The PHF had earlier warned that if the government didn’t give a grant of 80 million rupees it would jeopardise Pakistan’s participation in the World Cup.
The Imran Khan-led government had until Sunday not released any grant despite hockey being the national game of Pakistan.