Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) is making all efforts to organise the Pakistan Hockey League this year, assuring foreign players that they will get high-level security.
PHF president Brig Khalid Khokhar said, “By organising this league, we will assure our budding players that the national game is a sellable commodity in the country. The boys will know that if they play well, they will earn great money,”
“From day one PHF wants to organise the event in Pakistan due to which we waited for a long time. We did not organise the event outside the country as others have done because it would not serve the interest of the national game,” said Khokhar.
As per the initial plans, around two dozen foreign players are expected to take part in the high-profile hockey league which was envisaged on the lines of cricket’s cash rich Pakistan Super League.
Six franchises were to vie for honours in the hockey league matches a majority of which were to be held in Lahore, Faisalabad and Gojra with each side having participation of three foreign players.
“The best players of the world will be invited to participate in the event from Australia, Germany, Holland, England, Argentina, Spain, New Zealand and Belgium,” he added.
The PHF wants to involve all stakeholders in organising the event to make the event successful, he added. “Former greats of Pakistan hockey will be involved in the event. Their experience will certainly help us in making the event successful,” Khokhar said.
The major hurdle in launching the hockey league previously was the non-issuance of No Objection Certificate (NOC) by the Punjab government for which the PHF had applied well before time but failed to receive it despite the passage of a few months.
PHF secretary Shahbaz Ahmed said the salient features of the event would be made public gradually. “We don’t want to say anything definite about its timing right now,” Shahbaz said.