Show­biz Stars Visit World Cup Hockey Camp

Daily Messenger - - Spotlight - DR M. Arif Hafeez Sports Re­porter

KARACHI: In what was a rar­ity for hockey in re­cent times, na­tional play­ers, train­ing for the forth­com­ing World Cup at the Na­tional Hockey Sta­dium, La­hore were vis­ited by the show busi­ness stars, and quite a few of them.

The big names in­cluded singer, model, ac­tor and pro­ducer Ali Za­far, vet­eran singer Waris Baig, pop­u­lar Pun­jabi singer Malkoo and fe­male singer Nir­mal Roy, who has gained fame through Coke Stu­dio.

They all spoke sep­a­rately to the play­ers and lamented that Pak­istan's na­tional game is not be­ing given the pa­tron­age and recog­ni­tion it de­serves, and even Pak­istan's par­tic­ipa- tion in the World Cup, which starts later this month, is in doubt due to in­suf­fi­cient funds.

The show­biz lu­mi­nar­ies spoke words of en­cour­age­ment for the play­ers and ex­pressed hope that de­spite all the odds, Pak­istan team will do well at the World Cup. They min­gled with the play­ers and also sang mo­ti­va­tional lines from the pop­u­lar na­tional songs. The stars re­quested the fed­eral and pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ments as well as the pri­vate sec­tor to give fi­nan­cial sup­port to hockey on a pri­or­ity ba­sis,

"Af­ter all Hockey is Pak­istan's na­tional sport".

Malkoo dis­closed that he played hockey dur­ing his youth.

Waris Baig told that he had made a song ex­clu­sively for the na­tional hockey team some­time back.

Waris Baig and Malkoo pledged to pre­pare a new song for the hockey team.

Pak­istan team's head coach, Taqueer Dar thanked the guests and pre­sented bou­quets to them.

Ali Za­far , who was the last guest, was pre­sented with a hockey stick and a Pak­istan team shirt, both signed by the play­ers and the man­age­ment of Pak­istan team which re­cently won the Asian Cham­pi­ons Tro­phy in Oman. Play­ers were de­lighted to see the stars among them, "their visit has boasted our morale and now we feel more mo­ti­vated to per­form well at the World Cup".

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