Friday September 24, 2021

PHF to name 20 players for central contracts in couple of days

KARACHI: Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) will announce in a couple of days the names of 20 players whom it will award central contracts, ‘The News’ learnt on Monday.

Informed sources said that these days physical fitness tests are being conducted of these players. The PHF selected them through a tough and competitive procedure of performance evaluation earlier this month.

Chairman selection committee Olympian Manzoor junior and head coach of senior team Khwaja Junaid played an important role. The selection of the 20 players requires the final approval by PHF president Brig Khalid Sajjad Khokhar.

Sources said that the PHF would give Rs50,000 for A category, Rs40,000 for B category, and Rs30,000 for C category. The performance of the 20 players will be evaluated after every three months. It is pertinent to mention here that there are 32 players currently undergoing physical fitness tests in Lahore. The 20 players chosen for the central contracts are among them.

Meanwhile, the PHF is contacting some strong Asian teams’ federations, including Japan, Malaysia, South Korea, to play bilateral series or three- or four-nation tournaments in Pakistan after the Tokyo Olympics, the sources said.

Pakistan senior and junior teams have not played against other countries for a long time, first because of shortage of funds and then because of Covid-19 restrictions. Both teams have had training and coaching camps three times for their international assignments.

The juniors are to play Junior Asia Cup 2021, which has been postponed twice. Its new schedule is yet to be announced. The seniors are to participate in the Asian Champions Trophy in September. Both events will be held in Bangladesh.

The PHF has told the Asian Hockey Federation (AHF) that it wanted to host international tournaments in Pakistan on a regular basis and sought their help to revive international hockey in the country.

Meanwhile, the preparation for the Chief of Naval Staff Championship in Karachi is going on. The event will be held at Abdul Sattar Edhi stadium from August 1-18. The country’s top domestic teams will participate in the event. This will be the last event at the stadium before it undergoes reconstruction.