Pakistan to tour Australia in Nov this year: PHF
National senior team would visit Australia in November this year, secretary of the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) Shahbaz Ahmed Senior said today.
According to Shahbaz, the PHF was striving to give maximum possible international exposure to both senior and junior teams and in this regard, he added, "we want the junior team should get proper exposure well before the Junior World Cup" to be hosted by India in December this year. Commenting on the senior team's proposed visit to Australia, the PHF official appreciated the support offered by Hockey Australia which has promised to provide free boarding and lodging facilities to the Pakistan squad on the tour Down Under.
On the financial side, the PHF secretary stated the federation was ready to give full details of its matters to to the government, acknowledging it was right to get these matters checked by the government. Announcing that the senior team would participate in the 25th Sultan Azlan Shah Hockey Cup in April this year, Shahbaz said the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) had extended invitation to the PHF for the said event.
"Playing in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup will give more exposure and experience to our players." He lamented that lack of funds didn't allow the PHF to send its team on foreign tours. "[However], now the situation will soon improve as far as international exposure to the junior and senior teams is concerned," Shahbaz added.
Meanwhile, shedding light on the efforts to restore international in Pakistan Shahbaz said efforts were being made to invite teams like China, Malaysia to play Test matches in Pakistan. In this regard, he added, PHF president retired Brig Khalid Khokhar had been working tirelessly. "The PHF president has held several meetings with members of the AHF and the FIH and all of them want to support Pakistan hockey," Shahbaz concluded.